From the Courts
September 30, 2022
Man who stabbed another man to death after bar fight, will spend 6 years in prison

A MAN who stabbed another man to death after being provoked into a bar fight, will spend six years and eight months in prison for manslaughter.

Thirty-five-year-old Frederick Samuel pleaded guilty in July of this year to the killing of Zimroy Junior Brackin.

It emerged that on October 19, 2019, Samuel was in a bar in Kingstown when he was approached by a male.This male asked Samuel to give him something, but Samuel told him he had nothing to give. Samuel was smoking a marijuana cigarette when that man slapped him and reached his hands into Samuel’s pocket, taking his money.

Samuel responded by trying to stab this man but the individual high tailed it away. Samuel pursued him, and Brackin chased after Samuel.

“Brackin was armed with a stool and he tried to use that stool to strike the prisoner. The prisoner fended off the blow and stabbed at Brackin. Brackin sustained a wound from which he later died,” Justice Brian Cottle noted at the High Court on September 23.

After he pleaded guilty, a social inquiry report was written up on Samuel.

This would reveal certain characteristics about him, as pointed out by a variety of individuals.

The 35-year-old is said to have no children, and his parents are deceased. He has five siblings.

His education did not progress past primary school.

His income comes from working as a labourer or farm hand.

“People in his community describe him as quiet and hard working. He was not known as a troublemaker. Since his incarceration the authorities report that he has been a model prisoner,” the judge said, summarizing from the social inquiry report.

Cottle used sentencing guidelines that were crafted by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court to determine a sentence for Samuel.

In sentencing an offender for manslaughter by reason of an unlawful act, the judge said that the court has to consider that the act has had the most serious of consequences and a human life has been lost.

The court is required to place the offence into one of three levels of seriousness.

In this case there was some level of self defence although not arising to the level of a criminal defence.

Cottle therefore placed it at a medium level of seriousness.

“The guidelines suggest the starting point of 12 years incarceration within the range of six to 16 years,” the judge noted, and he did so.

He is then required to look at the aggravating and mitigating features of the offence.

Aggravating of the offence is that a bladed weapon was used.

However, mitigating was that there was no premeditation.

Samuel had nothing about his personal characteristics that aggravated.

He has no previous relevant convictions, and has expressed remorse.

“The mother and the aunt of the deceased victim have accepted his apology; they say they have forgiven him,” the judge noted.

Samuel turned himself in to the police and “I find that the aggravating features of this offence are outweighed by the mitigating and this merits a downward departure from the starting sentence – I will go down then by two years,” the judge explained.

The sentence was then 10 years, and, following the norm, it was further sliced by one third because of Samuel’s early guilty plea.

It was then six years and eight months.

The 35-year-old had already spent two years, 10 months and 29 days in prison, therefore when sentenced he was left with three years, nine months and one day to serve.

Samuel was represented by lawyer, Patina Knights.