A High Court judge has ordered the State to compensate a bar patron who was assaulted by a policeman during a brawl at a sports bar in Arouca.
Ryan Puncham will receive $10,000 for being pushed by PC Jovon Hillaire at the Hott Shotts Bar on December 9, 2012.
Puncham and Hillaire were at the bar with their respective friends when the fight between them took place. It was eventually broken up by the bar’s security.
After the incident, Puncham was charged with assaulting Hillaire, using obscene language, behaving in a disorderly manner and resisting arrest. These charges were eventually dropped and Puncham filed a claim for compensation for assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
He lost his case for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution as Justice Vasheist Kokaram was satisfied that he assaulted the police officer by slapping him and using obscene language. Pancham was also found to be an unreliable witness, prone to exaggerating and embellishing his story.
However, the judge found that Hillaire retaliated when Puncham slapped him. This, he said, was a disproportionate response and it was on this finding that the State was ordered to pay the $10,000 in compensation.
Kokaram made no orders for costs.
Puncham was represented by attorneys Chase Pegus and Vikash Indar Lal and the Attorney General was represented by attorneys Ebo Jones and Ryan Grant.