A father, who said he simply wanted to take a picture with his daughter at her graduation last Tuesday, ended up in court after slapping his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend in the face.
Anderson Fitzgerald Gibson, 43, of 1st Avenue Bird’s River, Deacons Road, St Michael, admitted to unlawfully assaulting Michael Williams on July 11.
Prosecutor Sergeant Randolph Boyce told the District “A” Magistrates’ Court that Gibson, the child’s mother and her new beau were all at the graduation. At the end of the ceremony, Gibson asked to take a picture with the child but the mother refused, saying they were ready to leave. Her boyfriend intervened, verbally, and that was when Gibson slapped him in the face.
Gibson, who is self-employed, gave a different version of what took place. He said he pushed Williams away after the complainant pressed him in the back with his elbow, as he tried to come between himself and his child’s mother while he was speaking to her.
He told Chief Magistrate Ian Weekes he has had several issues regarding access to his daughter. He added that the principal and a couple of teachers advised him to come to the school the next day to take a picture with the girl.
The Chief Magistrate said while he understood how Gibson felt, “it didn’t have to come to this if you just wanted a picture”. He told the father he had other options and retaining an attorney was one, so that the challenges he described could become a civil matter.
He said even though Gibson had not handled the situation appropriately, he felt the matter did not warrant anything beyond a reprimand and discharge. (SD)