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Jerimiah Bacchus returns to prison on Friday, March 15, 2024.
Jerimiah Bacchus returns to prison on Friday, March 15, 2024.
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A High Court judge has declined to order special counselling for a 41-year-old man who will spend a further 12 years in prison for killing his friend during an argument over a woman.

On Friday, Justice Richard Floyd noted that the social inquiry report on Jerimiah Bacchus, 41, recommended that be assessed while serving his sentence and be referred to whatever counselling is determined as being suitable and necessary.

The report recommended substance abuse counselling, in particular.

The judge, however, said that while the court supports those recommendations, it is expected that Bacchus would receive the same treatment as every other inmate, “which includes assessment and direction into appropriate counselling by prison authorities”.

Justice Floyd said it is well known that unless a person has reached a place where he or she accepts the need for counselling and treatment and is amenable to it, then it is pointless to order it.

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“For that reason, the court will restrict its sentence to a custodial disposition, and leave the assessment and programming to the prison authorities,” the judge said, adding that Bacchus would have time to consider his position in that regard while serving sentence.

On Friday, the judge ordered that Bacchus spend a further 12 years and 25 days in prison for the April 10, 2022 stabbing death of fellow New Grounds resident, Jeremiah “ET” Daniel during an argument over “access to a female”.

The social inquiry report prepared ahead of the sentencing said Bacchus was identified as having severe depression and moderate anger symptoms.

The report also found that Bacchus, who has seven siblings, was abused as a child, by an elderly male, something that he also admitted to the case worker. 

Bacchus cannot read and can write only his name.

The report said that while Bacchus’ overall health is “good”, he has struggled with substance abuse, including alcohol and marijuana and has overdosed on several occasions and suffered blackouts.

When he awakens, he does not always know what has happened.

Before his incarceration, Bacchus had lived for three years in a rented wooden one-bedroom structure, where there was no electricity, no internet, and no internal water source.

The report said that Bacchus had not had a great deal of family support in his life.

He had criminal convictions for wounding in 2018 and 2020.

Prison authorities indicated that he was quiet, mannerly and respectful towards prison staff and got along well with other inmates.

The defendant cooperated with the preparation of the report but the case worker described him as easily distracted during the interview.

In his community, residents described him as “helpful to others”, “not troublesome”, “cool”, “quiet”, and “a hard worker’ but also said he was often bullied by others.

Some people were shocked to learn about his actions in causing Daniel’s death.

While members of his community described him as a “humble person”, they also noted that he “loves to drink” and when intoxicated, he became annoying and argumentative.

A brother and sister of the defendant were interviewed and described him as “hardworking”, “helpful” and “quiet”.

They, however, revealed that when Bacchus’ mother emigrated to Canada and the defendant continued to live in her house in St. Vincent’s, conflict arose between him and his brother.

This resulted in a court action and Bacchus being evicted from the house and eventually became “a vagrant”.

Bacchus was also described as being someone who would be aggressive, quick to fire a blow such as a lash and run for cover.

The social inquiry report described Bacchus as a good candidate for rehabilitation, and the judge added, “which of course he is, given his age”.

Daniel’s mother, Claudette Daniel, declined to take part in the production of the social inquiry report. However, her victim impact statement was filed.

The judge said the victim impact statement reveals “a mother overcome by grief and despair at the loss of a child.

“She is numb, shocked and angry. She has cried, screamed and been consumed by rage. She feels lost and alone. Her health has been affected. She has trouble eating and sleeping,” the judge said, quoting the report.

“Her son was loved by many, especially by his mother,” Justice Floyd said.