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‘Winty’ spared death sentence

‘Winty’ spared death sentence

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Deciding to show leniency, but at the same time send a stern warning to would be murderers, High Court Judge His Lordship Frederick Bruce-Lyle imposed two 25-year sentences to run concurrently on 37-year-old Winston ‘Winty’ Nicholls, for the slaying of Nicholls’ girlfriend Aretha Caine and her companion, Jamaican, Suzette Brookes.{{more}}

Caine and Brookes suffered multiple chop wounds to their heads at the hand of Nicholls between May 28th and 31st last year at Brookes’ residence at Largo Height.

Excerpts from the trial indicate that Nicholls believed that the women were sexually involved.

On the dates mentioned, Nicholls hid at Brookes’ home where he overheard conversations and intimate interactions between the two deceased, then in a fit of rage, attacked them with a hatchet, causing death.

Nicholls later confessed the crime to the police and even prayed with the investigating officers, asking for forgiveness.

The contractor, whose address was given as Kingstown Park, even attempted to enter a guilty plea at the trial, but since he was not allowed to do so, he instructed his Lawyer Nicole Sylvester not to cross examine prosecution witnesses.

This led Director of Public Prosecution Collin Williams to withdraw the death penalty request.

A Social Enquiry Report, presented by Director of Family Affairs Cammie Matthews, revealed that Nicholls had shown remorse for his actions, and that his deadly actions did not correspond with his character.

Nicholls and Caine had shared a common law relationship, which produced three children.

Matthews’ report also suggested a long period of counseling for Nicholls.

The court also heard that Nicholls had suffered emotional and even physical abuse from Caine and her acquaintances.

His Lordship, in passing judgment, acknowledged that the accused had shown remorse for his act, and had thrown himself at the mercy of the court and asked for leniency.

He acknowledged that Nicholls was considered a law abiding citizen, who was of good character and well respected in his community.

“That alone is enough for this court to exercise leniency.” The judge said.

Referring to the incident leading to the slayings, the judge said: “I am convinced that he lost his cool. I don’t think he went to do any harm. My only worry is the execution of the deceased – it was brutal.”

Bruce-Lyle said that Nicholls’ actions caused the loss of two lives, and with this, he had to consider the effects on the relatives of the deceased and on society on a whole.

“The brutal nature of crime in this country is beginning to dawn on society, especially me. We need to send a clear message to society that we cannot condone these actions. You cannot get a tap on the wrist from me.”

“I have to impose a sentence that would deter others from doing the same thing.”

His Lordship closed the proceeding with some words of wisdom:

“My view of this is if you can’t handle the woman, find another one!”

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