Friday 21 September, 2018

Sentence Reduction Day headed for St Ann Circuit Court

The now infamous 'Tarpaulin Killer', Phillip Brown.

The now infamous 'Tarpaulin Killer', Phillip Brown.

In a bid to reduce the large number of cases to be heard before the St Ann Circuit Court, a Sentence Reduction Day has been scheduled there for Friday, February 9.

The Sentence Reduction Day initiative provides an opportunity for accused persons to enter guilty pleas and benefit from a maximum of up to 50 per cent reduction in their sentences.

The pending launch of the initiative in the parish was disclosed by prosecutor Yanique Gardner-Brown at the opening of the four-week sitting of the St Ann Circuit Court on Monday.

The Sentence Reduction Day initiative was met with controversy last year following the sentencing of the now infamous 'Tarpaulin Killer', Phillip Brown, to 15 years in prison for the brutal killing of his pregnant girlfriend, Kerry-Ann Wilson, in St Andrew.

Brown pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in October, during a Sentence Reduction Day at the Home Circuit Court in Kingston, and will be eligible for parole after serving 10 years of his sentence.

Several persons had criticised Brown’s sentence under the programme, which was deemed as unjustified, given the gruesome nature of the killing.

However, Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn, defended the Sentence Reduction Day initiative and the sentence that Brown received.

She pointed out that the main evidence that was available to prosecutors in the case against Brown was a caution statement he gave police investigators, in which he not only detailed how he killed Wilson, but raised the issue of legal provocation.

Meanwhile, a total of 115 cases were listed to be heard during the circuit sitting in St Ann. A breakdown of the cases given showed that there are 60 circuit court matters, which include murder, rape, carnal abuse and sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16.

In addition, 35 gun court matters are down to be tried.

Along with the Sentence Reduction Day, other initiatives to better manage cases during the circuit term in St Ann include the use of agreed facts to shorten trial time, and the setting of new cases for trial in October.

High Court judge, Justice Glen Brown, is to preside over the hearing of the cases for this week’s sitting of the court.