18 years for killer

. . . but Taylor will only spend five years behind bars

COURT TODAY BLOCKA man who raped, sodomized and killed a woman 14 years ago as she made her way home from church, was today sentenced to 18 years in prison.

The sentence was handed down to Trevor St Elmo Taylor by Justice Randall Worrell.

Taylor, 48, pleaded guilty in 2011 to manslaughter, admitting that he carried out a brutal and deadly attack on 65-year-old Jeswene Belle in 2002.

In addition to being sexually violated, Belle was hit on the head with a blunt object. Her body was later found through a track near her Melverton, St George home.

Since his admission, Taylor’s case went before the court on several occasions, but he was either firing an attorney, seeking a new one or had not prepared his own mitigation.

Last month, the court asked attorney-at-law Angella Mitchell-Gittens, who was present, to assist Taylor.

Mitchell-GIttens conceded that the facts and circumstances of the case were “very disturbing”, particularly given the victim’s age and the fact that Taylor had a previous conviction for rape.

But she argued that Taylor’s age, his guilty plea, the absence of premeditation and the time he had already spent on remand, should be taken into account.

However, Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas asked the court to impose a further sentence than the almost 13 years the killer had already spent on remand, adding that any sentence ought to not only deter Taylor but others as well.

He stressed that it was a “grave” case of manslaughter which was “committed callously” and should be placed at the top of the sentencing scale. Further, Thomas contended, the attack had been unprovoked, Taylor had shown no remorse at the time and had denied any involvement in the matter when interviewed by police.

Taking Taylor’s guilty plea and ill health into consideration, Justice Worrell discounted the killer’s 12-plus years behind bars and ordered him to spend a further five years and three months in prison.

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