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Bajan killer of six women, including a Vincentian, receives six life terms

Bajan killer of six women,  including a Vincentian, receives six life terms

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The man who firebombed a store in Barbados, claiming the lives of six women, including Vincentian Kellisha Ollivierre, 24, will spend the rest of his life in prison.{{more}}

Renaldo Anderson Alleyne, 22, was sentenced to a lifetime in prison for each of the women who died when he set Campus Trendz ablaze, during a robbery on September 3, 2010.

In addition to the Vincentian woman, 19-year-old Guyanese Amanda Cornelius and Barbadians Shanna Griffith, 18; Pearl Amanda Cornelius, 18; Kelly Anne Welch, 24; Tiffany Harding, 23; and Nakita Belgrave, 23 died as a result of the fire.

Justice Elneth Kentish handed down the sentence on Wednesday.

The life sentences will run concurrently.

The robbery, firebombing and resulting conflagration of the clothing store sent shock waves throughout Barbados.

Alleyne, of St Michael, Barbados was later held and, at last year’s Session of the Continuous Sittings, said that while he did not murder the women, he did unlawfully kill them.

Three of the women were employees at the boutique, while the others were customers.

Kentish, stressing repeatedly that the women’s deaths were untimely, ghastly, painful and horrible, told Alleyne only life sentences would be commensurate with the gravity and seriousness of the offences, especially since she felt he was a danger to society.

She said the question for her had been what was the appropriate length of sentence “having regard to the chilling circumstances surrounding these deaths.

“Regrettably, neither your co-operation with police, your clean record, your guilty pleas, nor your expressions of remorse are sufficient to detract from, or neutralize the gravity of the offences and the senseless and horrific manner in which these young women met their deaths,” the judge told Alleyne, who displayed no emotion.

The judge said she accepted that it had not crossed Alleyne’s mind that those people would have died.

“And therein lies your danger to society. It is that simple-minded approach that I have earlier described as a frightening aspect of your character.”

The court had heard that Alleyne and another man entered the clothing boutique and demanded money of the owner, who was in the building.

As they were escaping, Alleyne lit the homemade wick of one gasoline-filled beer bottle and tossed it inside the store. He then tossed the second Molotov cocktail at another door.

During the robbery, the women had locked themselves in a room at the back of the boutique. They screamed as the flames engulfed the building, and their bodies, huddled together, were found with hardly a mark on them.

Death, two pathologists decided, was by asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation.

Five of the victims — Welch, Cornelius, Olliverre, Belgrave and Harding — were pronounced dead at the scene, while Griffith, who was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, died there.

Searchlight was unable yesterday to reach Ollivierre’s mother, Coleen Olliverre, for comment about the sentence imposed on Alleyne.

(Rewritten from The Barbados Nation)