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Sharpes men get 20 years for shooting death of villager

Sharpes men get 20 years for shooting death of villager

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A High Court judge said on Friday that he was taking a stance, and departed from the guidelines of sentencing on manslaughter.{{more}}

And Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle sent Redemption Sharpes residents Jaybarry Charles and Romano Pompey to prison for 20 years.

“You are said to be a good candidate for reform, but you would not do that in society,” the judge told Charles.

“Are we supposed to sit down and slap them on their wrists? I will not allow it. I am taking a stance! I am departing from the guidelines of sentencing on manslaughter. These offences go outside the realms to me…

“Look at the prevalence of gang activity and proliferation of guns. One killing in a remote area of the country affects everybody. I can’t sit here and do my job properly and close my eyes to what’s happening,” Bruce-Lyle added.

The men had pleaded guilty to multiple charges stemming from the June 18, 2010 shooting death of Esron “Banks” Ells.

Ells, 22, also of Redemption Sharpes, died around 10 p.m. after he was gunned down in the area of the National Broadcasting Corporation at Richmond Hill.

The shooting followed an altercation with some men on Halifax Street, near the Postal Corporation building.

Ells, who received a gunshot to his right cheek, died on the way to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

Pompey, 26, who was initially charged with the murder of Ells, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and unlawful use of a firearm.

Charles, 25, pleaded guilty to wounding and unlawful use of a firearm.

However, the judge reprimanded and discharged both men on the firearm charges.

A social inquiry report prepared by caseworker Denise Harold deemed Pompey’s prospect of rehabilitation to be remote.

It recorded Pompey as saying he did not intend to kill Ells, as they were once friends.

And Pompey’s attorney, Jomo Thomas, in a plea of mitigation, noted that his client pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

“In this case, my client did not go through a full trial … He was running away from the Ells brothers at the time and fired a shot…” Thomas told the court.

Thomas also suggested that his client’s sentence should be lesser than the benchmark for manslaughter — 15 years.

Representing Charles, attorney Patricia Marks, in mitigation, said her client did not waste the court’s time and pleaded with the judge to take into account time served on remand.

In response, Bruce-Lyle said it appears that human life is being trivialised.

Bruce-Lyle told Pompey he knows a lot of people like him, who, despite all odds, made something of their lives.

“The aggravating factors far outweigh the mitigating factors in the pursuance of gang activity.

“I take judicial notice of what is going on in Redemption Sharpes. It has turned into a violent community … Considering all this, there’s a need to keep Mr Pompey away from society for a while,’ Bruce-Lyle said.

In Charles’ case, the judge said there are a lot of people who never knew their father, but by hard work made something of themselves. (KW)

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