Court ‘determined to send message’ on knife crime with jail sentences for three Islanders

Perry Bouchard entering Royal Court. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (37516215)

A JUDGE has issued a stark reminder that knife crime will not be tolerated following the sentencing of three Islanders who ended up in a brawl in which a blade was brandished.

The men – Craig Smith (34), Perry Bouchard (32) and James Harry Huish (41) – were all jailed after a “violent and sustained assault” in the foyer of a St Clement block of flats.

During the attack, a knife fell from Bouchard’s waistband, which he then retrieved and “brandished” as his co-defendants urged him to put it away.

They received jail terms of 18 months, two years and 16 months, respectively, after admitting grave and criminal assault.

The sentencing follows a number of high-profile knife-crime court cases in recent months, although the States police have stressed that violent crime is not on the increase.

Echoing previous remarks in the courts about knife crime, the Deputy Bailiff, Robert MacRae, said: “The court always takes a serious view of assaults with a knife.

“There is always a risk of really serious injury.

“The court is determined to send out a message that those who resort to an attack with a knife will face serious sentences.”

He added: “Mr Bouchard, you decided to take a knife in case you saw [the victim] and he was armed.

“This was a dangerous and reckless decision on your part.”

The Royal Court heard that the incident took place in the foyer of La Tour Heron in St Clement, where Smith lived and from where his ex-partner was due to retrieve her belongings.

The fight started as the three men encountered the ex-girlfriend’s new partner.

Crown Advocate Lauren Hallam, prosecuting, described how Smith punched the man in the face, threw “a number of punches” and threw him to the floor.

Huish then kicked and punched the victim, while Bouchard realised his knife had fallen from his waistband.

The advocate said: “He picked it up and held it in his fist while moving around the others.”

The victim was left with a bloodied nose, bruises to his knuckles, swelling on his temple and “a considerable amount of blood on both his hands,” the court heard.

Advocate Chris Baglin, defending Bouchard, said that his client had not planned on using the knife. He said: “He’s not gone to a specific place with a knife out.”

He argued that his client had not been in trouble for ten years.

Advocate Nicholas Mière, defending Huish, stressed that Bouchard had brought the knife unbeknownst to his co-defendants and called his client’s involvement a “terrible decision”.

Advocate Olaf Blakeley, defending Smith, asked the court to lip-read a section of footage captured on CCTV, arguing that his client could be seen saying: “Don’t use that knife.”

The Deputy Bailiff added that the seriousness of the crime made it impossible to impose a community service order – but did take into account Smith and Huish’s efforts to stop Bouchard from using the blade.

The Deputy Bailiff was joined by two Jurats: Lieutenant-Bailiff Jane Ronge and David Le Heuzé.

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