Lawyer says UWI student needs psychological assistance

March 28, 2023

Lawyers representing university student Mathew Hyde, who is accused of torturing his ex-girlfriend at his dorm room at The University of the West Indies, Mona, are seeking to have him released on bail in the custody of an adult daycare centre for persons with certain health issues.

"Nobody has any regard for his primary concern, his primary situation, it's sad. And as bad as its sounds Your Honour, maybe it's a situation that is good for him because maybe it requires intervention of this nature to help him. I do believe Your Honour, the posture in terms of the application for bail, I would suggest ma'am that if offered bail under conditions that are unusual in a sense that he is confined to a place, in terms of treatment, that's the problem," Peter Champagnie, K.C., submitted.

Champagnie, lead defence counsel for Hyde, in a part-heard bail application in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Monday, submitted that he is not pleading for the administering of much-needed psychological support. Champagnie, referencing details of a forensic psycholgist report obtained from Dr Wendel Abel, stressed the need for intervention in the 20-year-old's life.

"The application for bail is not one that is really out of desperation because we want it. It is really with a genuine effort to see if perhaps, for once in his life, the help that we think ought to be applied, will be applied. Matthew Hyde was never given the opportunity to either have sustained care of a particular nature of treatment and he has been as it were, almost like someone from an early age, in nomad's land. The report is very, very telling," Champagnie pressed Senior Parish Judge Lori-Anne Cole-Montaque.

It was further submitted to the court that the matter be adjourned and treated as part-heard, to facilitate the appearance of Abel to address Hyde's condition and to produce a fresh analysis of a medical report of the complainant's alleged injuries.

Hyde is charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm, use of malicious communication, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and false imprisonment.

The medical certificate indicates that the injuries are "not serious, not likely to be permanent, providing the patient does not scar as a result".

However, the clerk of court questioned the competency of the place where Hyde is expected to stay, should he be granted bail.

"The prosecution is uncomfortable with that in the sense that nothing has been provided to this court to show whether or not it is a competent enough facility that can monitor him and also provide the necessary treatment," the clerk of court argued. "I also do not know the sustainability of it."

Judge Cole-Montaque hinted that it would be beneficial if proof that six- or seven-months' deposit can be made.

Hyde was remanded in custody until March 31, when the matter is set for the continuation of a bail application.

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