McCoy fined $20,000 for assaulting Benschop

…larceny, damage to property charges dismissed

Popular political commentator Kwame McCoy was on Thursday fined $20,000 with an alternative of one month’s imprisonment after city magistrate Anette Singh found him guilty of unlawfully assaulting political activist Mark Benschop.

The magistrate, in her ruling, dismissed two other charges – alleged larceny and damage to property – stating that she does not believe the evidence of Benschop in those matters.kwame mckoy

During his testimony to the court via Skype, Benschop, who is in the United States, claimed that subsequent to the incident, which occurred at Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara in 2011, he had travelled to Georgetown to make a report at the Brickdam Police Station.

The court was told that, at the time of the incident, the VC was filming a Diamond House Scheme house which he claimed belonged to McCoy.

McCoy, in his testimony to the court on Wednesday, denied ownership of the house, stating that he arrived at the Diamond property and was told that Benschop had an altercation with two of the workers there, after they retaliated when he allegedly put a camera in their faces.

McCoy related that Benschop could not identify the workers with whom he had the alleged altercation, thus he had made him the scapegoat.

Speaking to members of the media outside the courtroom, McCoy said he remains innocent in the matter, and claimed the allegations were fabricated for political effect. He said he was not present at the house in Diamond Housing Scheme where the alleged assault took place.

McCoy was charged with the offences, and was released by Magistrate Leron Daly in April of last year after he entered a not guilty plea to the charges. Bail was granted in the total sum of $275,000 – $200,000 for damage to property, $50,000 for simple larceny, and $25,000 for the charge of unlawful assault.