Man jailed for seven years after hatchet attack

| 01/12/2022 | 15 Comments
Cayman News Service
Courthouse in George Town

(CNS): Gioser Acosta Gonzalez (42), originally from Cuba, has been jailed for seven years following his conviction more than 18 months ago for a violent attack in October 2020 in West Bay. Gonzalez was found guilty of wounding with intent after he hit a man in the head twice with a hatchet during an argument over a $20 loan. Despite the injuries, the victim was able to drive himself to the hospital while clutching a shirt to his bleeding head and called 911 from the car. Gonzalez was arrested and charged shortly afterwards but claimed self-defence and stood trial in March 2021.

But Gonzalez suffers from serious mental health issues, and following the judge’s guilty verdict in April last year, it took well over a year for the convicted man to get the assessments he needed due to the pressures on the local psychiatric services.

The delays and his significant mental health problems that have deteriorated since he was jailed helped to mitigate the sentence. But the judge had included one year in the seven-year total for another assault that Gonzalez committed, where he broke the nose of a bouncer at a George Town bar while on bail for the hatchet attack in West Bay.

The sentence also included fourteen days, to run concurrently, for ganja possession, which Justice Roger Chapple said was “the least of your worries” as he handed down his ruling and explained his reasons to the convicted man. He said that despite Gonzalez’ mental health issues, the public needed to be protected from him as he presented a serious risk of harm to the community.

“You are a volatile individual whose response to situations is violence,” the judge said, noting that Gonzalez had overreacted to the situations on both occasions. The judge said that Gonzalez and his victim in West Bay had been engaged in a fight provoked by the victim, but that could not justify his reaction with “a very unpleasant weapon capable of inflicting terrible injury”.

Though the victim’s wounds were neither life-threatening nor permanent and have since healed, in his victim impact statement he said remains traumatized by the assault.

Justice Chapple said he believed that Gonzalez’ mental health issues had contributed to his behaviour and noted that he had endured a difficult and violent upbringing. The judge also said the 20 months it had taken to settle his case was unacceptable. Although it was due to the delays in getting appointments with the necessary professionals, who are all under pressure, it did not diminish the additional stresses it would have caused him given the state of his mental health.

The judge also noted the issue of deportation back to Cuba after Gonzalez has served the time, but he stressed that this is not an issue for the court but lies in the hands of the border control agencies. The judge ordered that the 520 days Gonzalez has already spent on remand at HMP Northward would count towards the seven-year term.

Share your vote!

How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Local News

Comments (15)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Would the DPP and Immigration please provide statistics on the number of deportable violent criminals who have actually been deported and the number who have been permitted to stay through neglect and otherwise?

    • Anonymous says:

      The data will confirm that not a single expat criminal has been automatically deported on release from Northward or Fairbanks. Perhaps the Ministry responsible for immigration and border control can explain?

    • Anonymous says:

      How about you go through the proper channels and get the information yourself? What do you think the cns comment section really is?

  2. Anonymous says:

    How was this person allowed on the island in the first place?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Back to Cuba please

  4. Anonymous says:

    The border control agencies do not deport prisoners on release. FACT. The semblance of the rule of law is a scam!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes, please deport after his sentence is served

    • Anonymous says:

      Straight from jail to the airport. Start now so everything is ready when his time is up.

      • Anonymous says:

        Which they have been required to do for decades but have not done for years. The neglect is criminal. The harm to Cayman, horrific. The accountability, non existent.

        • Anonymous says:

          It is almost like they can’t go until they sire or bare a child or two with a Caymanian first. strange how that always happens.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.