Court considers ZR driver’s murder appeal
Lawyers for Troy Tyrone Stanford appealed against both his conviction and sentence when they went before the Court of Appeal earlier this week.
Attorneys Tariq Khan, Carol-Ann Best and Alexandria Thomas appeared on behalf of Stanford, who was given 18 years and 29 days by a High Court judge in June 2011.
Former judge Elneth Kentish handed down the sentence after Stanford was found guilty of killing Matthew Joseph.
Joseph, 29, died after being shot in the chest during a June 15, 2008 altercation with Stanford. The incident, involving the two ZR drivers, occurred at the end of a Leinster Road, Bush Hall, St Michael cavalcade as patrons were making their way home.
Appearing before Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson K.A and Justices of Appeal Andrew Burgess and Kaye Goodridge, Khan argued that the learned trial judge had erred by considering only two mitigating factors before passing sentence. Those were thatthe offence had taken place on the spur of the moment and that Joseph had been the aggressor.
The attorney argued that Stanford’s remorse should also have been considered as a mitigating factor, since it would likely have affected the length of the sentence given. The attorney then pointed to two instances where he said remorse had been shown by Stanford; those were in the probation officer’s report and when Stanford’s attorney Latchman Kissoon referred to Stanford’s “contrition” during his mitigation.
Other grounds which the attorneys cited were that the trial judge had erred by failing to give a balanced summation and had placed too much emphasis on provocation, which went against the defences of accident and self-defence. Additionally, they believed that Justice Kentish failed to ascertain the difficulty faced by the jury, after she called them back from deliberating when they had not reached a verdict.
However, Principal Crown Counsel Alliston Seale felt the sentence was justified. He argued that it fell within the range of the sentencing guidelines for such matters and added that the aggravating features outweighed the mitigating.
In handing down her sentence, Justice Kentish had referred to the facts surrounding the killing; which were that a firearm was used, the shooting took place in a public place and the deceased was unarmed and outnumbered. Additionally, the judge felt that Stanford had shown no remorse, since after escaping legal custody and being recaptured, he had remarked that he escaped because
he was being charged for something he did not do.
The court reserved its decision.