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Persons look on the woman lying on the ground outside the High Court on Thursday. (iWN photo)
Persons look on the woman lying on the ground outside the High Court on Thursday. (iWN photo)
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A woman, said to be the sister of a man who died after being stabbed in the neck in November 2015, ran out of the High Court, on Thursday, fell to the ground and screamed after his killer was sentenced to eight years in prison.

However, Benjamin Jackson, 53, will only have to spend a further three years, 10 months and 21 days in prison, having been on remand for four years, one month and nine days.

The sentencing was in the case in which Christopher Allan Rouse, 29,  of Glen, had walked to the mobile police station in his village, on Nov. 1, 2015, and told police there that a man had stabbed him in neck.

Rouse then collapsed and died outside the police outpost.

In April this year, Jackson’s lawyer, Jomo Thomas, wrote to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution saying the accused man was willing to plead guilty to manslaughter.

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The Crown, however, rejected the offer and the matter went to trial.

However, just before closing submissions, the Crown accepted the guilty plea for manslaughter.

Renee Simmons appeared for the Crown.

Benjamin Jackson
Benjamin Jackson on his way to prison on Thursday. (iWN photo)

At the sentencing hearing, Thomas said that in the early morning of Nov. 1, 2015, Jackson was at his home, which includes a shop, and an altercation developed between him and Rouse.

This resulted in Jackson stabbing Rouse with a pair of scissors in the neck.

Thomas said:

“Sadly, unfortunately, a man is dead, but the evidence seems to indicate that for the prisoner at the bar, trouble came up to his doorstep.”

The lawyer said that trouble came between 3 and 4 a.m. when Rouse accosted Jackson and tried to choke him.

Thomas said his client reached for a pair of scissors and stabbed Rouse.

There was a history of harassment between both men but there was no premeditation at all, the lawyer told the court, adding that Jackson had previously been of good character.

The lawyer noted that the acceptance of the guilty plea came when all the evidence was in.

He, however, said that on April 30, the defence wrote to the DPP offering to plead guilty for manslaughter, but the Crown rejected the offer.

The lawyer argued that it was not his client’s fault that the plea had come at that point and he argued that Jackson should be given the full one-third discount for an early guilty plea.

In his sentencing comments, High Court judge Justice Brian Cottle said Jackson has no previous conviction and is not likely to reoffend.

The judge further pointed out that the incident occurred at Jackson’s home in the early hours of the morning,

He said the established starting point for most cases of manslaughter is 15 years of imprisonment and that the court saw no reason to depart from that in the extant case.

The use of a weapon to inflict a fatal injury was aggravating, but mitigating was the fact that only a single blow was inflicted, the court said.

The judge further noted, in mitigation, that the weapon was a pair of scissors that Jackson had at hand in the shop and that there was no premeditation.

The court also found that there was significant provocation and a history of Rouse harassing Jackson.

There were no aggravating features of the offender, but mitigating was the fact that he showed remorse, pleaded guilty, and has no previous relevant conviction.
The court found that the mitigating features outweighed those aggravating and moved to reduce the sentence to 12 years.

The court also offered the one-third discount for the guilty plea, noting that Jackson had made the offer in writing — before trial — to plead guilty to manslaughter.

This brought the sentence to eight years.

From this, the court deducted the four years, one month and nine days that Jackson had spent on remand.

7 replies on “Woman screams outside court as brother’s killer is sentenced”

  1. Now here is a case where the man convicted was treated far to harshly and its a disgrace for the state to have left this man on remand for more than four years before coming to trial.

    When the State holds a man on remand for so long it may prejudice the judge in favour of the state to save the State being sued. Therefore a prison sentence longer than fairly required with the powerful mitigating circumstances not properly considered for giving a low or no prison term is passed. It removes also any possibility of a no guilty verdict for the same reasons, the state being liable for considerable compensation for keeping so long before trial.

    These long remand times are bad justice and unfair to say the very least. What on earth can a reason be for keeping a man on remand for more than 4 years?

    I think the case should be re-appealed against harshness of sentence.

    There should be a commission held into why this man took more than 4 years to come to full trial, and persons responsible should lose there jobs for incompetence.

    Not that I am saying this is one, but there are judges who think its their duty to protect the State against litigation by persons treated unfairly.

    1. I wondered the same thing but the article didnt give any indication if the this defence was proffered at trial. Maybe in his usual follow up stories based on one story, we may know more!

  2. The message is clear the sentencing guidelines allow persons to manipulate the system. A person can premeditate murder plea guilty to manslaughter early and basically get away especially if you have no previous record Hope it doesn’t create a vigalanty environment

  3. This is cheap talk, whether he stabbed the victim ten times or once is mute. The fact is an man lost his life. I have no respect for Jomo as a person much less a lawyer for more reasons than not. This one third discount for early plea should be revisited. Is it a deterrent of a catalyst for further crime? You be the judge.

  4. There’s no winner, I pray for peace and love and healing for the Community. Our young people will do something constructive with their life; love my beautiful Country Saint Vincent.

  5. So is this not self defence,he was being choke out n before could only grip a scissor to inflict a blow to avoid his breathe being stop…smh

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