Man avoids jail term for stabbing
Justice Randall Worrell today handed down an 18-month suspended sentence to Schimeon Francis who pleaded guilty to causing serious bodily harm.
Hinds died on September 30, 2005 after being stabbed in the stomach with a scissors by Francis who was 15 years old at the time.
“It is up to you to be on your best behaviour,” Worrell told the now 24-year-old.
“Yes Sir, I will,” he replied.
The judge said that even though Francis had resorted to using a weapon, he had taken into consideration that the offender was young at the time, had no previous convictions and had pleaded guilty, thereby saving the court “precious judicial time”.
Worrell also said that Francis’ presentencing report had been favourable and he had undergone “an unwarranted and unprovoked attack”.
Hinds, a 43-year-old mentally-challenged man, had walked up to Francis who was sitting under a tree at the time, and began beating him with a piece of electric wire.
Although Francis did not retaliate in the beginning and tried to protect himself with his hands, he later used a scissors he had to stab Hinds.
Francis was initially charged with manslaughter but the prosecution later reduced the charge to causing serious bodily harm.
Attorney-at-law Desmond Sands, who mitigated on Francis’ behalf last week, had asked the court to consider probation or a suspended sentence.
The lawyer went on to say that Francis had made something of his life by working steadily from the age 16 until now. Members of his community had also described him as quiet and respectful.
Principal Crown Counsel Elwood Watts responded today by saying that he could see “no useful purpose” in jailing Francis, even though he had gone “outside of the boundaries of a person who is defending himself”.