Minibus driver in viral video assaulting passenger on bail

Bus driver Josh Harry

Days after he was fined a total of $80,000 for various traffic offences, Route 42 minibus driver Josh Harry of Back Road, Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara was on Wednesday charged with assaulting a female passenger as well as damaging her cellular phone.
He appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan and
pleaded not guilty to the first charge, which stated that on April 12 at Houston Public Road, Greater Georgetown, he unlawfully assaulted 47-year-old Odila Peroune of Pearl, East Bank Demerara.
He also denied the other charge, which stated that on the same day at the said location, he unlawfully and maliciously damaged a cellphone screen valued $40,000, property of Peroune.
Harry, 28, was released on $5,000 bail for each charge. The cases will continue on 14.
The prosecution is contending that, on April 12, Harry was the driver of minibus BYY 8024, which was proceeding north along Houston Public Road. At the time Peroune, a passenger in the minibus, complained to Harry about the loud music he was playing and requested that he turn it down.
The driver stopped the bus in a rash manner. At this stage, the passenger pulled out her mobile phone and started recording. The driver then approached the woman and demanded that she disembark the bus.
When the woman refused to comply, he snatched her cell phone from out of her hands.
In the process, he hit her on her mouth, and also damaged her phone screen. The matter was reported to the Police and investigations were launched.
Following the incident, a licensing and certifying officer searched the bus and discovered two six-inch Faital Pro Speakers, two eight-inch Faital Pro Speakers, a 1000-watt power amplifier, and an Audiopipe, all instruments of music which were not authorised by the prescribed authority.
As a result, he was charged on Monday and appeared before Senior Magistrate Clive Nurse at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. Those charges he faced were: breach of road service licence; making loud and continuous noise; misconduct of driver, and failing to carry a conductor.
He was fined a total of $80,000 after pleading guilty to the charges. The Police prosecutor, in this case Sanj Jaisingh, asked the magistrate to impose the maximum fines to send a strong message to other minibus drivers that such conduct would not be tolerated. (G1)