Prosecutor urges court to dismiss appeal in Campus Trendz case
Renaldo Anderson Alleyne is “not entitled to any discounts” on the six concurrent life sentences imposed on him by Madame Justice Elneth Kentish for his role in the deaths of six young women in the September 3, 2010 Campus Trendz fire.
That was one of the submissions made by Principal Crown Counsel Anthony Blackman Wednesday in the Appeals Court where he urged three justices to dismiss an appeal filed last week by Alleyne’s attorneys Arthur Holder and Roy Hurley.
In his submissions to the court, Holder had challenged the sentences imposed on his client in August 2012 on three grounds: that the trial judge failed to follow established guidelines in arriving at a sentence of life imprisonment; that the sentences were excessive; and that the appellant was entitled to a discount for pleading guilty to manslaughter.
However, Blackman disagreed.
He told the court that the Prescod Bottom, Hindsbury Road, St Michael resident who killed Pearl Cornelius, Shana Griffith, Kellisha Olliviere, Tiffany Harding, Nikita Belgrave and Kelly-Ann Welch “represented a serious danger to the public.”
As such, Blackman contended that the sentences imposed were appropriate, given Alleyne’s participation in the “clandestine operation” and “his unpredictable nature”, referring to the pre-sentencing report from the trial which indicated that Alleyne was a follower.
Blackman laid out the prosecution’s position after he painted a picture for the court of what occurred on that tragic day six years ago.
“When you look at the plot . . . at the young ladies doing their jobs, seeking to provide for their family . . . they didn’t do anyone anything. When we think about the knocking on the door, the screaming . . . . You go into the store . . . you get the money, was it necessary to send the second [Molotov cocktail]? Is that an act of regard for life?” Blackman asked adding that the trial judge believed that “the risk to the public was too great to impose determinant sentences.”
“[We are] of the view that this appeal should be dismissed . . . suggestions for discounts . . . for early guilty plea . . .[should not be considered] as [he is] not entitled to any discounts in this case . . . The circumstances are so grave that no discount should be granted,” the Crown’s representative said.
Blackman, who was assisted by Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney, further suggested that if the court was minded to impose determinate sentences, Alleyne should serve them consecutively instead of concurrently.
Following the submission, the Court of Appeal judges reserved judgment.