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Penniston gets 10 years for ‘Brocco’s’ death

Penniston gets 10 years for ‘Brocco’s’ death

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The next 10 years of Angus Penniston’s life will be spent at her Majesty’s Prison.{{more}}

Penniston, 31, was sentenced of Monday, October 12, at the High Court on a charge of manslaughter. The Bequia resident was convicted on February 19, 2009, for causing the death of Vinnie “Brocco” Baptiste, 50, of Sandy Bay on August 12, 2007, at Bequia.

At around 7pm on that night, Penniston, who was the disc jockey at a party, went outside to get some fresh air. The deceased, who was sitting on a wall nearby, got up and shoved Penniston. Penniston then boxed Baptiste in his chest, whereupon he fell dead on the spot. A post mortem report indicated that he died from blunt trauma to the chest.

At the sentencing hearing last Wednesday, lawyer for Penniston, Grant Connell, indicated to the court that Penniston was a “virgin to the law” and a man of impeccable character. Connell said that the father of four is extremely remorseful for his actions and this was shown, even on the night of the incident, when he went to the aid of the deceased.

“When I think of the nature of the crime, how many persons would have reacted in the same way as the prisoner at the bar?” Connell rhetorically asked. Explaining the importance of the family in today’s society, Connell said that his children, aged one to four, will be without their father. “Over there (jail) is for hardened criminals who can’t fit into society…If the court is minded to impose a custodial sentence, let it be on the lower end of the stick,” Connell pleaded.

In her Social Inquiry Report, Leona John of the Social Welfare Department indicated to the court that Penniston, while being interviewed, expressed profound remorse and stated that he had no intention to harm or cause Baptiste’s death.

John said an interview was also done with members of the Bequia community who described Penniston as a “well-balanced and cool individual” but who displayed aggressive tendencies at times.

In her conclusion, John recommended that Penniston be exposed to counseling and anger management. He was, however, deemed as a good prospect for rehabilitation.(KW)

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