Hermina Jackson returns to prison after being sentenced on Wednesday. (Photo: Ashford Peters)

By Gloridene Hoyte-John

The La Croix woman who killed her husband during a domestic dispute in the presence of their son on July 11, 2017, was, on Wednesday, jailed for six years and six months.

However, Hermina Jackson, 52, will serve only a further four years and three months in prison, having been in custody since the death of her husband, Henry Jackson, 67, a retired chauffer.

Justice Brian Cottle handed down the sentence nine months after Jackson wrote a letter asking for forgiveness — ahead of her trial.  

In the letter, which her lawyer, Grant Connell, read at the sentencing, Jackson said her husband — who had boxed her just before the stabbing — did not deserve to die as he did.

Connell said his client has “asked God for forgiveness and now asks you, my lord, for forgiveness”.

The letter, in part, said:

“I realised my mistake, I asked God to forgive me as I try to correct them.  I never had any intention to harm my husband; he didn’t deserve to die that way.  Many days I have felt pain and loss. I am deeply sorry at the death of my husband- a good man, a good father who cared for all his children.”

Connell further said the couple has a 10-year-old son who is now without a parent.

In September 2018, Mrs. Jackson, a caterer, had pleaded not guilty to a charge that she murdered her husband.

However, during the current assizes, she pleaded guilty to manslaughter, a lesser charge, and the Crown accepted the plea.

Connell told the court that his client was in the kitchen making juice for her now-10-year-old son who witnessed the entire incident.

He said the situation was “very unfortunate” as the son has to live with this for the rest of his life.

The lawyer further told the court that the absence of the mother is having its effect on the child, who is slated to write his primary school-leaving examinations next year.

Connell said the Jacksons had an argument over a bill that Mrs. Jackson had given her husband money to pay.

Instead of paying the bill, however, Mr. Jackson used the money to consume alcohol, the lawyer said.

As Mrs. Jackson was making the juice, her husband came into the kitchen and an argument ensued.

Mr. Jackson boxed his wife twice. She had a knife in her hand and Mr. Jackson got stabbed, the lawyer said.

He told the court that the medical report shows that Mr. Jackson had 19 cuts on his upper arm, adding that this was consistent with a struggle. 

After the injured Mr. Jackson fell, his wife tried to resuscitate him and ran to neighbours seeking their assistance.

Jackson was pronounced dead on arrival at the Evesham Health Centre. 

Connell said that from the beginning, his client admitted that she was wrong and has shown extreme remorse.

He asked the court to consider that his client is not a hardened criminal, not a threat to society, is a good candidate for rehabilitation, and, according to the social inquiry report, a good woman.

The lawyer said that prison authorities described Jackson as “involved”, and helps out other prisoners and participates in sewing classes.

Residents of La Croix described her as “hardworking”, the lawyer said.

In handing down his sentence, Justice Cottle noted the aims of criminal punishment: retribution, deterrence, prevention and rehabilitation.

The judge said that in arriving at a sentence, he considered that the defendant is a mother of five and that her relationship with her husband, at times, was challenging as Mr. Jackson had drunk alcohol.

Justice Cottle further pointed out that Mrs. Jackson had expressed remorse, pleaded guilty at first occasion and that the social inquiry reports said she is a good candidate for rehabilitation.

Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, but the court has established a starting point of 15 years. 

The judge identified the aggravating features as the fact that a weapon was used, 19 wounds were inflicted and the incident happened in the presence of a minor — who is now 10 years old.

The mitigating features are that the incident was unplanned, it was a domestic brawl, Mrs. Jackson had no previous conviction, she cooperated with police and assisted in helping and seeking help for her injured husband, Justice Cottle said.

The court concluded that the mitigating factors outweighed the aggravating features and the sentence was reduced to 10 years.

For the guilty plea, the court awarded Mrs. Jackson the full one-third discount, seeing the sentence reduced to six years and six months.

Mrs. Jackson had spent two years, four months and 27 days on remand and this was further reduced from the sentence.

This means that she will serve a further four years and three months in prison.

“I am comforted by your progress made in rehabilitation,” Justice Cottle told the defendant and wished her the best.

Rose-Ann Richardson represented the Crown.

13 replies on “Widow who killed abusive husband says he didn’t deserve it”

  1. These drunking rum boogie men they have in saint vincent that have no respect for their family , all should be put away or wiped out. Sorry for the wife and mother that she have to go to jail for killing those fast hand vincentian men.

  2. Rawlston Pompey says:

    MONUMENTAL SPOUSAL PROBLEMS – JAIL HOUSE REPENTENCE – COURT HOUSE REMORSE

    Who said the deceased would have died in the year 2024?

    Unfortunately, the wrath of man may descend unexpectedly and perilously.

    Ever since ‘…Cain’ had snuffed out the life of his brother ‘…Abel’ [Genesis 4: 8], man continues to imitate his action.

    Man has brought upon his fellowmen ‘…grief, sorrow and pain.’

    It cannot be denied that in most marital unions, there have been ‘…Monumental Spousal Problems.’

    There has been ‘…provocation,’ equally as much as there have been ‘…trials and tribulations.’

    Notwithstanding these, Courts shall always be mindful of ‘…Jail House Repentance and Court Remorse.’

    Invariably, accused persons would repent only when incarcerated and express remorse only before the Court.

    Thus, Courts shall understand that it is not necessarily about ‘…rehabilitation,’ but more importantly, the ‘…protection of society.’

    Clearly, the recently unveiled ‘…Sentencing Guidelines’ by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), appear not to meet public expectations or support the contention that ‘…punishment shall fit the crime.’

    Above all other considerations, Courts shall endeavor to ensure that the ‘…Rule of Law’ prevails in civil society.

  3. This crazy. A classic case of domestic violence and as usual the woman who this time choose to defend herself now must spend six years in jail. This woman should be free today to take care of her child. This is one of the many thing wrong with our system of justice

    1. Exactly. No one defends them selves with 19 stab wound. One or two yes 19 noway. All these people talking about domestic violence remember it goes both ways. If it was on the other hand it would have been a far different outcome.

  4. The dame looks traumatized. Let’s hope she gets the help she needs while she is in government custody, 6 years for homicide consequent to self-defense from a beating by her attacker. Wow! All yo doon gat no mother.

  5. The judge should have set her free and added the prison term to one of those convictions which people have protested about, there are plenty.

  6. I feel sad for Mrs Jackson but the same God who has graced her with those 2 years in prison will see her to completion of the entire sentence. She is doing a great job as an inmate and God is using her there. But it hurts to know that she is there because of an abusive ‘thug’. Such like these need to commit themselves to God; that the only way they can respect and love their wives. Women are human and many I know will not just stand and allow men to abuse them. What they need is the will and courage to move out of those abusive relationships at the first sign of abuse. God will provide their needs. May the blessings of God continue to be with Mrs Jackson.

  7. Am so proud of you Her Mrs Jackson you thought me so much Forgiveness is a major key in life God will see you through you’ll be out is no time your a strong woman this is peace of cake for you God bless you I love you

  8. The writer of this article is definitely fresh air. The article is clear, explanatory and more so NOT MONOTONOUS.

    Kudos…..

  9. Why didn’t this woman box him back why use the knife a weapon on him only God know what her intention were at that time. and will be the judge. No one has the right to take another person life male or female

    1. A man is also not supposed to use his wife as a punching-bag. I guess that must be brutal loving. Why didn’t the man go into the bush and chop down a tree?

  10. Caswallon Duncan says:

    Violence against man or woman is wrong. We need to go back to the Holy Book which says “husband love your wife” and “woman respect your husband”. Let’s start over by teaching our boys and girls to love, care, respect and work . No one hurts his own flesh, unless he hates himself. In this situation between male and female, let’s do what is right. We must be careful not to swing from the extreme left to the extreme right. In the absence of balance there is chaos. I think alcohol should be made illegal too many families have been destroyed and more will be if we don’t stand up.

Comments are closed.