The prosecutor in the case against the pastor and two members of his family who poured a hot liquid on the man, has described their actions as “barbaric”.
“The seriousness of the crime, your honour, to my mind, it is barbaric to have poured hot water on a human being; inhumane. I am recommending a custodial sentence,” Senior Prosecutor, Adolphus Delplesche said at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
“And I am not recommending a short, sharp shock… I am recommending a custodial sentence that would reflect the seriousness of this offence,” he said.
On Monday, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett returned a guilty verdict in the case in which Pastor Nigel Morgan, his wife, Althia, and their daughter, Krystal, were charge with inflicting grievous bodily harm on Victory at Hopewell, Mesopotamia on April 9, 2016.
In his submission on sentencing, Delplesche noted that the two-year trial has been long and tedious.
He noted that the magistrate has wide sentencing powers, ranging from remanding and discharging to imprisonment.
Delplesche said that the principles of sentencing say that the sentence must reflect the seriousness of the offence.
“I say to you, your honour that this matter is a serious matter and it ought to be so treated.”
He said that in his opinion a reprimand and discharge or a bond was out of the question.
In response, defence counsel, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste told the court that she was clear in her earlier submission and never suggested a bond.
The lawyer said that given the facts of the case, the sentence must be a fine and a custodial sentence.
She, however, said that when the age and “impeccable characters” of the defendants are considered, “What purpose would be served by sending them to prison? …
“How would the community benefit?” Bacchus-Baptiste said, adding that her clients don’t need to be rehabilitated.
The lawyer further told the court that sentencing is not retribution, adding that the case is clearly one where a custodial sentence was not necessary, despite the seriousness of the offence.
However, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett said that considering the principles of sentencing and his own precedent — having jailed other people for the same offence — he was sending each of the Morgans to prison for four years.