No more jail


Attorney-at-law Desmond Sands successfully argued for a High Court judge to consider sentencing his 29-year-old client, who pleaded guilty to causing serious bodily harm to a now deceased friend, to time served.

Renaldo Ramon Howell of Knights Gap, Brittons Hill, St Michael pleaded guilty to the lesser count instead of the manslaughter charge levelled against him in the January 23, 2006 death of Ricardo Pile.

“Look favourably on this young man. He is now 29 years old [and has] no prior convictions . . .  [There is] no evidence that he has been involved in any such behaviour in the past,” Sands said as he urged Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius to consider a sentence of time spent on remand.

Pile, according to prosecutor Principal Crown Counsel Elwood Watts, died from complications from a stab wound almost a year after Howell inflicted the injury on him.

“The facts as they were, suggest that there was no premeditation . . . . A fight ensued over cards . . . and [the deceased’s] injuries were such that he died just days short of a year,” Watts told Justice Cornelius in the No. 5 Supreme Court recently.

He went on to say that the doctor who conducted the post mortem revealed under cross-examination that Pile died from blood poisoning, which was secondary to the wound.

With these facts in hand, Watts said while there were no specific penalties attached to such a crime, ten years, a fine, or both could be handed down in such cases.

However, he agreed with Sands that “time spent on remand was an adequate sentence in the circumstances”, as Howell did not “set out to do anything” and there was some sort of provocation involved.

A pre-sentencing report by a probation officer into Howell’s life revealed that he regretted his actions and that he was a “medium risk offender”.

“I miss Ricardo a lot . . . . He was my friend. If I could [turn] back the hands of time  . . . I would . . . to make this thing never happen. I just want another chance . . . Your Honour,” Howell said when asked whether he had anything to say.

Justice Cornelius then released Howell, who had spent 1,468 days on remand, on $1,000 bail.

He returns to the High Court on Friday for formal sentencing.

4 Responses to No more jail

  1. Sue Donym April 5, 2017 at 7:52 am

    It’s almost criminal – the catalogue of catastrophe that obtains in out justice (sorry, legal) system in Barbados.
    – Over 11 years before finally coming to decision
    – Having to accept a downgraded plea which is often the case given
    – length of time from incident, the unreliability of witness memory, unavailability of notes, reports and files
    – No forensic pathologist to provide comprehensive testimony on causes of death.
    Obviously, there is ultimately a desire to just get it wrapped up to have a case closed and to avoid another appeal to the CCJ and yet another damning report on Barbados!

    The time in this particular case might not be the average, but it is generally the case that the pursuit of justice has been made too taxing for many, the final irony being that even though the records will show a conviction of serious bodily harm, the victim was not even around to dispute the ‘facts’.

    • Sue Donym April 5, 2017 at 7:53 am

      … in our… system

      • hcalndre April 5, 2017 at 10:15 am

        The Courts of Barbados main objective is the dress code, getting cases tried and not delayed for 7 or more years is a normal. Justice delayed is justice denied and there is no redress.

  2. Mikey April 5, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Hello, 11 years to determine the final result of a case.
    What justice ???
    Who pays the CJ and the AG ???
    Where do they work ???
    What are their Job Descriptions ???
    Should these posts be made redundant ???
    Or should they be demoted ???
    Are these the type of questions asked about the average civil servant , like McDowall, Mary Agard, Margaret Payne or Peter Bynoe ???


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