From the Courts
June 10, 2011

Damien Bristol’s sentence reduced

In his first ever appeal matter, young lawyer Carlos James fought feverishly and managed to have two years shaved off of an 18-year prison sentence imposed on 23-year-old Damien Bristol.{{more}}

In July, last year, High Court judge Frederick Bruce-Lyle sentenced the Richland Park/Bequia resident to 18 years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with intent. Bristol had initially pleaded not guilty to wounding Dorothy Olliverre, of Bequia, on June 10, 2009.

Ollivierre was held by the neck and dragged about her home. She was slashed with a knife across her neck area after Bristol demanded money from her. She also sustained a broken arm, injuries to her head, and stated that she was continually falling in and out of consciousness.

Appearing before Eastern Caribbean Court Appeal judges Ola Mae Edwards, Davidson Baptiste and Ian Mitchell, James, in appealing Bristol’s sentence on Monday, June 6, did so on the grounds that the sentence was excessive and the learned trial judge erred in applying the correct principle for sentencing.

James argued that although his client did not plead guilty at the start of trial, which would have given him a one third reduction in his sentence, he did so during the trial and that the notional sentence, which is below 15 years, should have applied.

He further submitted that although the judge took into consideration the mitigating factors, he started at the maximum and imposed the 18-year jail term.

The appeal judges agreed with James that the sentencing principle was not applied and the aggravating and mitigating factors were not measured on the same scale of the notional sentence.