West Bay woman faces jail time over stabbing

| 15/07/2013

(CNS): A West Bay woman (21) who was charged with stabbing a man outside a house on North West Point Road, West Bay, during a social gathering some 18 months ago has been found guilty of unlawful wounding. Following a judge alone trial presided over by acting Justice Michael Mettyear, Bianca Vega escaped the first more serious charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm but was warned she still faced jail time after the judge rejected her claim of self-defence and stated that she had “overreacted”.  Vega had admitted stabbing Norman McLaughlin but the judge was not convinced that she was under the threat she had claimed as he cautioned her to prepare for an immediate prison sentence, as he delivered his verdict Friday and extended her bail for one more week.

During the trial Vega claimed she was waiting in the yard for a friend when the victim began acting belligerent and calling her names while accusing her of gossiping about his sexuality. She said the victim threatened her and motioned with a chair that he was going to hit her twice. It was after he faked the motion a third time that Vega stabbed him twice in his chest with a 3-inch push-up blade, which was never recovered as the defendant said she threw it in the ocean.

Following the incident Vega gave herself up to the police andtold them she had stabbed McLaughlin in self-defence.

Justice Mettyear rejected most of the witnesses' accounts as he believed they were drunk and unreliable. In addition, he expressed regret that, despite there being many witnesses to the incident that could have helped, most chose not to come forward.

While he observed that most of the witnesses appeared to be unreliable he also said he didn’t accept Vega's allegation that the victim faked the intent to hit her with the chair twice. He also said her reaction was “not reasonable”, adding that she “grossly exaggerated the threat posed to her” when she stabbed McLaughlin twice. The wounds led to his lungs collapsing, and although he did make a full recovery, the injuries were serious.

“Exactly what happened at the vital moment is not possible to determine as each of the witnesses is less than wholly reliable,” the judge stated. He found that Seth Rivers gave the most reliable account of what had happened that night, although he noted that he displayed no interest in the matter by his continuous yawning during cross-examination.

Based on the various accounts that the victim was drunk, the judge concluded that Vega did not need to stab him. He added that had the defendant not used her knife the incident would have simply passed off without injury to anyone. He said Vega was also loud, angry and overreacted.

In his ruling, the judge said that although Vega had a previous conviction of cheque fraud, she had no previous convictions for violent offenses. In handing down his verdict however, he warned that an immediate custodial sentence was almost inevitable and that the 21-year-old defendant should begin preparation to serve her prison term.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Crime

About the Author ()

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is ridiculous! I know vega very well, and is the sweetest most loving mother i know. She is positive and honest. Why would a 100lb girl  think she can win a fight with a 3 " blade against a man! Of course it's self defense, so many men in this Island are getting away with these type of things every day. This system is clearly messed up!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I'm surprised there's no comments on this story!