Killer makes appeal to victim’s family
Thirty-year-old Toneal Omar Walrond of French Village made the appeal to the family of the victim, Evans Burnham.
The late resident of Black Best, St Peter died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on July 8, 2011 following an altercation in which he sustained a fractured skull and other injuries after being hit in the face several times with a piece of wood.
Walrond was subsequently charged with the murder, which occurred sometime between July 1 and July 8, 2011.
However on February 18 this year, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
And Wednesday morning, when the matter came up for mitigation in the No. 2 Supreme Court, Walrond, who was dressed in a dark green, long sleeved shirt with black trousers and tie, apologized to the family of the deceased man.
“I want to say that I am very sorry to Mr Burnham’s family, the children . . . and ask that they forgive me in the. . . future. I am truly and sincerely sorry and I ask them to forgive me for my actions,” he said.
Walrond’s attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens also urged the court to be as “lenient as possible” with her client, given the aggravating and mitigating factors surrounding his case.
“He claimed that he went by [Mr Burnham] for money and he was attacked, and the deceased was hit with a piece of wood. So there is nothing on the record that would indicate that this offence would be aggravated by the presence of planning or premeditation,” Mitchell-Gittens argued.
“I would urge the court to be as lenient as possible in the circumstances and to apply a sentence that would not allow Mr Walrond to have another lengthy period of incarceration,” she added.
However, while agreeing, based on the evidence, that Walrond’s actions did not appear to be premeditated, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Donna Babb-Agard, QC, pointed out that a 60-year-old man had lost his life as a result.
“He was beaten enough to cause severe injury, which resulted in a skull fracture and he subsequently died,” she told the court.
Babb-Agard then pressed for the maximum sentence to be imposed.
“Based on the . . . submission that the aggravating features far outweigh the mitigating factors, we would ask the honourable court to consider the higher end of spectrum in respect of this matter,” she said.
Madam Justice Michelle Weekes will hand down her sentence on October 19.