On Friday a police messenger was sentenced to four years in prison for looting a television after Hurricane Irma, another man got eight years for raping his juvenile stepdaughter, and third man got six and a half years for killing his wife by slit- ting her throat in front of their two children.

Lennox Franklyn DaSilva received the six-and-a-half- year sentence from Justice Anne-Marie Smith for using a machete-like weapon to kill his wife Sherika Nelson DaSilva on June 10, 2017.

He was initially charged with both murder and manslaughter, but the prosecution dropped the murder charge after Mr. DaSilva pleaded guilty to manslaughter during trial in May.

His sentence will begin at the date of the crime, which means he likely will serve about four more years at Her Majesty’s Prison, though some of that time could be taken off for good behaviour.

During his trial, prosecutors described an argument breaking out between Mr. DaSilva and his wife. According to the prosecution, Ms. DaSilva came into the house in a rage, packing her clothes into a suitcase.

Mr. DaSilva described a feeling coming over him after his
wife repeatedly said she wished he had been killed in Jamaica, where he was attacked and shot at previously, according to the prosecution.

This provocation, the defence argued, led to Mr. DaSilva losing control of his mind and carrying out the act of violence. The prosecution did not dispute this account.

When police arrived on the scene, Mr. DaSilva agreed to an interview immediately and showed remorse for his actions, prosecutors said.

During the trial, Principal Crown Counsel Tiffany Scatliffe-Esprit argued for a sentence between eight and 12 years, while defence attorney Patrick Thompson argued for a sentence in the single digits.

“We argued that the single digits was appropriate,” he said. “The judge weighed the aggravating and mitigating factors. … The mitigating factors were significant enough to lower it.”

The aggravating factors of the case included the machete-type weapon that was used to slit the victim’s throat, and the fact that the killing happened in front of two children, who were traumatised by the event. Mitigating factors included admitted guilt, a lack of previous convictions, and evident remorse for the crime.

The rape trial

On the same day of the sentencing, 54-year-old Andre Stedman, who was found guilty of rape and indecent assault of a girl under the age of 13, received an eight-year sentence for his crimes.

Though defence attorney Stephen Daniels previously asked Ms. Smith for a sentence starting at 12 years, she chose a lower sentence.

Mr. Daniels conceded that there were aggravating factors, including a large age difference; a breach of trust between the complainant and the defendant; the fact that the crime was opportunistic in nature; the fact that the crime occurred in the complainant’s home; and a lack of remorse shown for the crime.

But the list of mitigating factors included the fact that no weapon was used; the fact that no injuries or pregnancy resulted; and the fact that Mr. Stedman was a first-time offender.

He also asked that the defendant receive a concurrent sentence for the charges.

Prosecutor Leslie Ann-Faulkner argued that rape is the most serious sexual offence. The complainant, she added, was asleep in her bed and she was a virgin at the time.

Ms. Faulkner also pointed out that throughout the trial he maintained his innocence rather than pleading guilty and showing remorse for the crime.

Looting

Former police messenger Shamoi Dagou was accused of looting an electronics store and taking a television in the after-math of Hurricane Irma. Following prosecutor Tamara Foster’s argument that “a strong message needs to be sent,” Ms.Smith sentenced Mr. Dagou to four years in prison on Friday.

“This defendant took advantage of the ravages of Hurricane Irma,” she said. “He must understand that this type of conduct cannot happen again.”

Later, she said she was open to revisiting the sentence. Yesterday, she reduced it by nearly two years.

Ms. Smith weighed the aggravating factor of the prevalence of the crime against the mitigating factors of an early guilty plea, his lack of prior convictions, and his cooperation with the police.

Though the seriousness of the offence was low, as the TV was valued at $250, she explained, the situation held significant importance.


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