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Belle gets seven years extra

Belle gets seven years extra


Already serving a six-year custodial sentence on gun and ammunition charges, Jariel Belle was sentenced to a further seven years behind bars on Friday, February, 6, 2009, on a wounding with intent charge.{{more}}

Belle, who was convicted on Tuesday, February 3, seemed to be pleased with the sentenced handed down by Justice Gertel Thom, as he was seen smiling throughout the entire proceedings. The 21-year-old Paul’s Avenue man was found guilty for shooting Jerani Peters in his back on July, 9, 2008, in Kingstown.

Mitigating on Belle’s behalf, Senior Counsel Arthur Williams said that Belle was a product of a bad environment. “Your Ladyship, the environment was so bad that his mother had to send his brother to live in a different country,” Williams stated.

Williams further stated that his client was under the influence of Jamal Finch, whom he was living with at the time of his arrest on August 4, 2007, at Cane Hall. “I want you to take into consideration that maybe he was carrying out instructions from the boss,” said Williams. He asked presiding judge, Justice Gertel Thom to impose a financial penalty on his client and that his mother will pay the fine if given some time to pay.

Describing the prisoner’s antecedence as quite a “stack”, Justice Thom told Belle that it was clear that he was following bad company and if he continues to do so, most of his life would be spent behind bars. Thom told Belle that she believes he is part of a gang and was carrying out instructions.

“You are smiling as if your gang is prestigious… this is serious offence you have committed and you could have killed Peters,” Thom scolded.

The Judge added that Belle needs to be rehabilitated under controlled conditions and sentenced him to prison for the next seven years. (KW)