The court heard that Jose Manuel Lima (45), of La Rue des Clos Durrell, Trinity, got out of his VW Van ‘armed’ with the baseball bat and confronted another driver who he claimed was directing abusive language toward him.
His lawyer submitted that the victim called Lima a ‘motherf***er’ and a ‘f***ing Portuguese’ and the defendant was angry because the foul language was used in front of his wife who was alongside him in the van.
The defendant admitted grave and criminal assault and being in possession of an offensive weapon at about 5.55 pm on Friday 21 September. He is due to be sentenced on 20 November and the court ordered that a background report be prepared.
Police legal adviser Susie Sharpe said that the incident took place in The Parade at the traffic lights heading toward Union Street. She said that the defendant was in a VW Van and there was one car between him and the other man, who was leaning out of his window.
She said that CCTV footage showed there was a very brief communication between the two before the defendant got out of his van, then went back to it before emerging ‘armed with a baseball bat’. Miss Sharpe said that Lima was seen remonstrating with the man while waving the baseball bat about.
However, Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris pointed out that there was no contact between the bat and the victim. ‘The assault is the threat,’ said Mr Harris, who added that Lima’s response was ‘clearly out of proportion to any abuse’.
When he spoke to police officers, Miss Sharpe said, Lima told them he was angry at the foul and abusive language directed toward him by the other driver.
She said that he admitted thrusting the bat toward the victim and warning the other man not to call him names again. Miss Sharpe said that Lima had got the baseball bat from a position that was ‘immediately adjacent to his driver’s seat’.
Advocate Luke Sette, defending, submitted there was provocation toward his client who was waiting at the red traffic light. He said the other man was leaning out of the window of his vehicle and was being ‘rather aggressive and using foul language.’ He said that there was a racial element to the abuse. ‘His wife was in the van at the time and he was worried about the language being used,’ said Advocate Sette. He said that Lima accepted that he over reacted.
The lawyer also told the court that the defendant was a painter and decorator who used the baseball bat in his work to smash up ceramics.