Labourer gets eight for manslaughter
From the Courts
July 20, 2007
Labourer gets eight for manslaughter

A young man who said he did not want to waste the court’s time and had been in prison too long awaiting his trial, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Monday at the Criminal Assizes and was sentenced to eight years imprisonment.{{more}}

Turnley Francois, 26 year-old labourer of Layou, had been charged with the December 25, 2005 murder of Jeffery James also of the same address.

On December 24, 2005 James gave Francois $20 to purchase a pair of shoes from his grandmother. When Francois brought the shoe to the deceased, he did not approve of it and refused to pay the balance of $40 which Francois told James he owed. James demanded that his money be returned, but Francois did not have the money at the time and told him he would get it “later.”

On the fateful Christmas night, Francois went to “Didips Hideout” where James saw him purchasing drinks. The deceased went up to him and pulled away $10 from him and proceeded to scuffle him by his shirt. James pulled out a knife and demanded his money. Patrons at the club held back James, and one of Francois friends gave James the $20 on behalf of Francois.

After leaving the club, James went after Francois with a bottle and attempted to hit him, whereupon Francois took a knife and stabbed him.

A post mortem carried on James’s body revealed that he died of a stab wound to the chest.

In mitigation by defence lawyer Kay Bacchus-Browne, she said that her client acted in self-defence and there was a great deal of provocation leading up the incident. She said that Francois had the knife because he was helping his grandmother cut some rope for a tent to shelter her business and he had forgotten the knife in his pocket. Bacchus-Browne said that her client was contrite and was fearful for his life since the defendant had attacked him earlier. “I think the sentence is still a bit high considering the facts in the matter,” said Bacchus-Browne.

Presiding Judge Justice Frederick Bruce Lyle stated that there is a serious problem developing in this country where persons are letting their anger get the better of them. “People are chopping up, killing each other for no reason as if the sanctity of human life means nothing,” said Bruce-Lyle.(KW)