(CMR) Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn held that Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush was involved in a “very serious case of common assault on a woman who was intended to help the Defendant”. She has sentenced him to 60 days imprisonment for each count of common assault to be suspended for two years with a curfew order attached.
The curfew will be from 6:00 pm until 6:00 am unless Parliament is in success. A compression order for over $4,000 to the victim was also issued. The curfew includes a doorstep condition.
In reviewing the facts accepted through his guilty plea she noted that as a member of parliament he was to be held to a higher standard and his behavior that day was “shameful and reprehensible”.
She shared that this was an “unprovoked attack” and accepted Bush's explanation that he allowed his personal troubles to spiral out of control and has no one to blame but himself for the sentence to be imposed by the court.
Gun noted that the victim was pressured and afraid and that by McKeeva Bush naming her in his public apology letter caused her significant emotional distress. The victim also shared that she was pressured not to pursue the matter.
The magistrate found that given the sentencing guidelines the custody threshold was passed. Given discounts for his late guilty plea and exemplary record etc. He would have been looking at three months imprisonment.
Noting that this feel into the category of greater harm because of the injury suffered to the victim and the sustained repeating assault during the course of the night as well as the use of weapons (two bus tubs thrown at her)
She found that the aggravating factors far outweighed his exemplary record of political achievements which she accepted was great. She also refused to accept his lawyer's arguments that he was entitled to no conviction recorded simply because other politicians had received it for what Alberga described as “a mishap”. She noted that term was his words and not hers.
Bush supplied 19 character references to the court.