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Shammai “Tear Drops” Hazell returns to prison on Friday, June 9, 2023 to continue his decades long prison sentence.
Shammai “Tear Drops” Hazell returns to prison on Friday, June 9, 2023 to continue his decades long prison sentence.

The Bequia man who shot a man in Canouan during a 2019 robbery, resulting in paralysis from the chest down will spend a further 22 years in prison.

Justice Brian Cottle handed down the sentence on Shammai “Tear Drops” Hazell, 27, at High Court No. 1, in Kingstown, on Friday.

Hazell had spent one year, 10 months and seven days on remand before his sentence was handed down.

The court had ordered him to spend a further 23 years, one month, 23 days in prison from last Friday, but reduced it to 22 years, in light of his apology ahead of the sentence.

Hazell, who did not have a lawyer, apologised to the court and the victim, saying he was “extremely remorseful for my actions.

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“I am also asking the court to have some leniency on me. Actually, what I did was wrong… and I am genuinely sorry for my action,” he said, adding that he keeps the virtual complainant in his prayers.

“I am truly sorry,” he said.

Hazell was found guilty on May 5 of robbery and wounding with intent.

The facts of the case are that around 11 a.m. on Nov. 23, 2019, the virtual complainant, Judson Jacobs, then 26, of Arnos Vale, was in Canouan preparing to buy fish for export.

He carried with him EC$10,000 and a digital scale to weigh the purchases.

As Jacobs was walking, he looked around and saw a masked man point a gun at him.

He saw a teardrop tattoo under the left eye of his assailant and recognised his attacker.

Jacobs started to run and Hazell chased and shot him.

He was transported to Canouan clinic and then Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, in Kingstown.

Hazell was arrested that same day. His home was searched but the money and gun were not recovered.

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

He pointed out that the maximum penalty for wounding with intent is life imprisonment, a notional sentence of 30 years — the same as for robbery.

Justice Cottle noted that Hazell is now 27 and was 23 at the time of his crime.

He has two previous convictions before the magistrate’s court, one for theft and another for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The judge said that the victim is paralysed from chest down and unable to work and earn an income.

He cannot participate fully in the upbringing of his daughter and was unable to attend her graduation.

Jacobs is now depressed.

The judge placed the robbery in the highest category of seriousness because of the serious physical and psychological harm caused to the virtual complainant and the substantial sum stolen from a business that was never recovered.

The consequence was level A or high because of the presence of several factors set out in the sentencing guidelines.

A firearm was used, the robbery took place on the public road in broad daylight, substantial violence was meted out to the virtual complainant, the gun was discharged twice, resulting in substantial risk of serious harm to the public.

Justice Cottle established a starting sentence of 22 years and six months, 75% of the maximum sentence.

He saw no mitigating features of the offences, and said that aggravating were that it was carried out in daylight in a public place and Hazell attempted to conceal his identity.

The court held that there was no mitigating feature of the offender, and said that his previous conviction for acts of dishonesty and violence, were aggravating features.

The judge moved the sentence up by two years and six months to arrive at 25 years.

The one year, 10 months and seven days that Hazell spent on remand was deducted from the sentence, to make it 23 years, one month, and 23 days, beginning last Friday.

On the wounding with intent charge, the judge noted that the virtual complainant is paralysed from the chest down.

At the time of the wounding, he feared that he would have lost his life and the psychological impact would have been great, Justice Cottle said.

Jacobs now feels that he can inadequately provide for his daughter and feels unable to defend her physically should the need arise.

The judge said that the case falls in the highest category of seriousness because a weapon was used and more than one shot discharged.

The offence was premeditated in that Hazell armed himself and donned a mask.

For this offence, he also established a starting sentence of 22 years and six months.

Aggravating was the fact that Hazell has previous conviction, including for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, committed while on bail for the present offence.

Justice Cottle moved the sentence up by two years and six months, to arrive at 25 years and also deducted the time spent on remand, to arrive at 23 years, one month, and 23 days from last Friday.

Alana Cumberbatch appeared for the Crown

One reply on “Robber who shot victim resulting in paralysis gets 22 years”

  1. Percy Palmer says:

    So why is he leaving jail after 22 years? He should spend the rest of his life behind bars. Did the guy receive his money?

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