Asbert Rodney on his way to his sentencing hearing. (iWN photo)

The Edinboro man who, in 2017, struck a mentally ill villager in the head over a homosexual slur, resulting in his death, has been ordered to spend a further three years, six months and 18 days in prison.

By then, Asbert Rodney, 22, will have spent six years in jail for the death of Christopher Wilson, 52.

Justice Brian Cottle handed down the sentence at the High Court No. 1, in Kingstown, on Friday.

Rodney had initially pleaded not guilty to murder, but later asked that the indictment be put to him again.

He then pleaded guilty to manslaughter, a lesser charge, and the Crown accepted the plea.

Director of Public Prosecutions Sejilla Mc Dowall appeared on behalf of the Crown and Israel Bruce represented Rodney.

The facts of the case, as summarised by the judge, are that on Sept. 28, 2017, Rodney — who was then 19 — and Wilson were at a shop, where they exchanged insults.

Wilson had a history of mental illness and Rodney teased him, saying that a woman had made him mad.

In response, Wilson called Rodney, a “buller man”, a vulgar term meaning a homosexual.

Rodney, in retaliation, used a metal rod and struck Wilson in the head, causing him to lose consciousness.

Wilson was taken to hospital where he died on Oct. 8, 2017.

In his statement to police, Rodney said that the defendant had struck him with his fist twice.

In mitigation, Rodney’s lawyer, told the court that his client had cooperated with law enforcement and had taken police back to the scene and pointed out useful distances and location.

Bruce said that while Rodney did not enter a guilty plea at the first opportunity, he did so at as soon as he had received legal advice.

The lawyer argued that his client should, therefore, be granted the full one-third discount on sentences that the court accords persons who plead guilty at the first opportunity.

Bruce told the court that the Crown and the defence had agreed that there was a level of provocation in the case.

The lawyer said that his client was “a most viable candidate for rehabilitation”.

He said Rodney had had the opportunity to go to secondary school but did not go past Form 1.

The lawyer said that his client recognised that he ought to have exercised a greater degree of restraint.

Bruce asked the court to create the perfect blend between justice and mercy.

“We are losing too many of our young men behind the prison walls,” he said.

Bruce cited the March 2019 case, in which Justice Cottle handed down a sentence of one year and six and a half months suspended for two years on Kishroy “Orchard” John, 20 of Campden Park.

John, then 17, was initially charged with murder in connection with the Sept. 28, 2016 killing of 49-year-old villager Winston Sinel “Bono” Williams.

John had struck his neighbour in the head with a stone over a response to a homosexual taunt.

In his sentencing remarks, the judge in the Rodney case, Justice Cottle, noted that the defendant left secondary school after failing three times to graduate from Form 1.

He further noted that the man had expressed remorse, saying he did not intend to kill Wilson and did not know that that would have been the results of his action.

The prison authorities described Rodney as a quiet person and members of his community spoke favourably about him, with the social inquiry report saying that he was a good candidate for rehabilitation.

Justice Cottle said the aggravating features of the crime are that a weapon was used and that it was committed in full view of the public.

He also said that Wilson might have been vulnerable because of his mental circumstances.

Mitigating, he said, was that there was an element of provocation and that the act was one of opportunity and was not planned.

He further noted that Rodney was a teenager at the time who had no previous conviction and that he cooperated with the police.

The judge had initially begun with a starting point of nine years in prison and reduced it to six years, after applying the one-third discount.

He noted that other judges had imposed similar sentences in similar circumstances.

The judge said that Rodney is not a person who is regarded as a threat to society and he hopes that he will have learnt much self-restraint and would not come back before the court for any reason. 

20 replies on “Man jailed for killing mentally ill villager over gay slur”

  1. This young man should be set free.When a man is straight and some one call him that name.l understand the pain.

    1. Why the hell you think he must set free he took a man’s life since when call someone a buller man is a crime it should have been one of your relative and let’s see if your tone would have been the same

  2. This is a great injustice done here in this case you just dont kill some one because they call you a buller man that is a everyday term or language use all the time who give you the right to take a man life the injustice here is the sentence does not equal for killing a murderer will have no peace and will have no forgiveness until he face God and the soul of the one that was murder. God will be the true judge on that day murderer S.V.G court system you call this justice or justified if this was your family would you agreed with this sentence of willful killing because he was call a buller man ….

  3. Talk the truth says:

    Damn.! ..so the moral is if you want someone dead just groom a youth into killing the villager for you. The youth might get a five years (considering one jail year is 9 months) which really adds up to less than four years for a life.

    Our life nah worth nothing anymore..watch wey the country reach!!

  4. Some of these lawyers are just as wicked as these who commit these killing and murders how do you sleep at night mr knowing a man is guilty of murder and you get him to plea guilty on a less charge of man slaughter for a lighter sentence you all shall face God one day for all these wickedness.

  5. How could this case and trial go before the court without the family of the murder victim and the witnesses notified of the day that the case to be call and to be present in court are you serious S.V.G what kind of court and justice system is this !!!!

    1. The man was taken to court only for the reading of the charge. It is an indictable offence so he is not allowed to plead at that stage. A preliminary inquiry will then take place, during which the court will decide if the prosecution has enough evidence to sustain the charge. If they do, the matter will then go to trial — pending any psychiatric evaluation of the accused. Hope this helps.

  6. Injustice injustice injustice injustice injustice
    In S.V.G. for murder no justice. The Victim life does not matter in S. V. G if you have a mental illness wow. Injustice!!!!

  7. its in the i- witness news paper. Take a look
    Man jailed for killing mentally ill villager over gay slur News administrator. The case was heard before the judge and sentence was pass already this is not a reading of any charge like you are saying here News administrator what. evil is this going on in S.V.G

  8. David Wilson says:

    its in the i-witness news paper take a look News administrator. The case was call and he was sentence to another. Three and six months. For the killing or murder by judge Brian Cotte. Thiswas not a preliminary inquiry the case was heard in the court are you serious !!!

    1. Ha, ha, haaaa, Me belly! You’re telling the Administrator to read the stories that he, himself, wrote!
      All jokes aside, provocation will always be a mitigating factor in such legal disputes. Also, to be convicted of murder, the court has to prove that the accused had both executed the act as well as had the malicious intent (malice aforethought) to do so. “I hope this helps.”

  9. Thinking out de box says:

    David w.l. You seems to be a close relative of de deceased in this case….. Also u don’t seem to understand how de law works nor do u have compassion or sympathy for ppl who are not ur family members or ppl who do ur relatives anything…… couple of questions for u….. How would u feel if someone was to call u a derogatory statement about u??? Secondly, let’s say u we’re accused n charged of an offence in de courts , wouldn’t you look for de best defense lawyer there is???

  10. MR DAVID When a man destroy a man’s reputation he destroy his life.l am not saying that people should take matters into their own hands.But in this case he did some time.My advice to people would be to go down on your knees and put them before God in the name of our LORD JESUS CHRIS.

  11. You are the journalist but I still think you should be less longwinded when reporting on some courts cases. Other than that I sometimes think you are the best journalist in SVG. But I also think that you sometimes take sides [especially with the comments i.e you decide what to publish and what not to].

  12. The penalty should fit the crime, calling a man a Buller man doesn’t mean he should take a life. His response must be proportional. The appropriate response should be calling him some name but to take a life is disproportionate. If I am called a buller which i.am not will just cause me to laugh it off. It does no damage to my ego much less my superego.

  13. This is the face of justice in SVG. The killer gets 6 five years of prison. What are people going to think? How should we look at this? A young man kills another man for calling him homosexual, not self-defense or by accident, only for calling him a bullerman then the courts give him a very lenient sentence. The Judge must be smoking marijuana, I think. This is not justice. One man is dead while the other is walks after six years in prison. Is that in the best interest of the community?

  14. Cameron Bacchus says:

    Justice must not only be done but must seen to be done. It was not seen to be done when one gets only 6 years for taking a life. This is justice vincy style.

Comments are closed.