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Judicial CP - February 2006

Corpun file 17420

Sun St Kitts, Basseterre, 15 February 2006

Court orders 10 lashes for minor

A juvenile is to receive 10 lashes with a tamarind rod in fulfilment of an order handed down by a court of law.

Recently at the District Magistrates Court in Sandy Point, a 15-year-old from St. Pauls, who appeared before the court, was convicted on a wounding charge.

In light of his conviction, the magistrate ordered that 10 strokes be administered to him with a tamarind rod as his sentence.

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Corpun file 17394

Sun St Kitts, Basseterre, 21 February 2006

Blows behind bars ... Convicted men get strokes, jail sentence

By Corliss Smithen

A custodial sentence coupled with corporal punishment was meted out to five young men yesterday following their trial in the High Court.

Kassim Buchanan, brothers, Eric, Curtis and Javan Long, as well as Gavin Warner were sentenced after being found guilty of wounding with intent and unlawful wounding for chopping Devon Hodge of The Alley, Sandy Point in the face and about the body. The incident occurred on 11 Feb., 2004 in Sandy Point.

Presiding judge, Justice Francis Belle slapped each of the men a six-year prison term and also ordered that they each receive six strokes with a tamarind rod.

Before handing down their sentences, Justice Belle chastised the young men for their action.

“Hodge was the victim of a very savage attack. It is one of a nature that has been repeated in society too often … Maybe Mr. Hodge was a fast runner and that’s why he’s alive today. You are still relatively young men and some of you have no previous convictions, but two.

“You have passed teenage years and are therefore called men. It seems to me that in this society, if you are a man, you inflict violence on someone. That is being a boy, not a man because boys are not expected to be responsible and their lives are being directed.

“But you became men and you feel that you are beyond correction, so until you’re arrested for an offence, you don’t think as men you are supposed to set examples for the boys … That is the example you are setting for children coming up,” Justice Belle said.

The judge added: “I am seeing the absence of positive role models in your lives and you are taking on the examples set on television. It is very difficult for me to say I will give you a second chance. That is not possible in this circumstance and that will be sending the wrong message. You must think first.

“Too many cases like this have come up in this assizes. The court has to do something to let all and sundry know that they must think before they act.

“In this case, there is no doubt that I have to send you to prison. It appears as though in cases like these, if it is available to the court, we would have to consider flogging.”

Lawyer for Buchanan intends to appeal his case to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal to have his client’s conviction overturned.

“I am going to appeal Kassim’s sentencing because the evidence presented by him and by another person proves that he was nowhere around when the incident occurred,” Anthony Johnson told reporters after the sentencing hearing yesterday.

After the case that lasted for four days, a 12-member jury returned a guilty verdict on 27 Jan. Justice Belle had postponed the men’s sentencing to 20 Feb., pending a psychiatric and social welfare report on Buchanan.

The Long brothers were represented by Nassibou Butler and Johnson was defence counsel for Buchanan, while Chesley Hamilton argued the case for Gavin Warner.

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