A Tobago man, who chopped his neighbour after he (the neighbour) allegedly opposed him for failing to report his wife’s infidelity, has been spared a prison sentence.

Anroy Manswell, of Providence, Tobago, had pleaded guilty to unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on Roger Smart in November last year, but was only sentenced when he appeared virtually before Justice Hayden St Clair-Douglas, yesterday.

During the brief hearing, public defender Delicia Helwig-Robertson confirmed that her client had paid $10,000 in compensation to Smart as ordered by St Clair-Douglas at a previous hearing.

St Clair-Douglas then decided to place Manswell on a $10,000 bond to keep the peace for three years. In the event, that Manswell breaches the bond by re-offending during the period, he will serve two years in prison.

“I would suggest you count your blessings and attempt to stay on the right side of the law,” St Clair-Douglas said.

According to the evidence in the case, the incident occurred outside a shop in the community on May 13, 2012.

State prosecutor Giselle Ferguson-Heller claimed that Smart was standing outside the shop drinking wine when Manswell approached him and asked for a cigarette. She claimed that after Manswell got the cigarette, he went home, returned with a cutlass, and attacked Manswell.

Smart attempted to hide in the shop, but Manswell allegedly followed him.

Smart tried to disarm Manswell but four fingers on his left hand were cut as he grabbed the blade.

The incident ended after Manswell’s mother was summoned to the scene. She beat him (Manswell) into submission. She then assisted Smart in placing bandages on his injured hand.

Manswell admitted to attacking Smart but Helwig-Robertson sought to give a different account of what transpired as she attempted to convince St Clair-Douglas that a prison term for her client was unsuitable.

According to Helwig-Robertson, Smart had just finished an argument with his wife on the phone when he allegedly challenged Manswell over his failure to inform him that he was “getting horn.”

Helwig-Robertson also noted that Manswell and Smart managed to resolve their disagreement and even worked together in a transport company for several years before Manswell left to open his own construction company.

Manswell also apologised to the court for his actions.

“I let anger get the best of me and I should have handled it differently. To the court and victim, I humbly apologise,” Manswell said in December.

Manswell initially offered to pay Smart $5,000 in compensation but St Clair-Douglas doubled the figure based on the extent of Smart’s injuries.