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Appellant walks – judge orders sentence varied to time served

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Kingstown resident Kamal Garraway showed little emotion when he won his appeal before the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal yesterday.{{more}}

The appellant, who was sentenced to three years imprisonment on a gun possession charge on February 15, 2012, by High Court judge Wesley James, appealed on the grounds that his sentence was too harsh.

Garraway, 21, had pleaded guilty at the High Court when he appeared with 23-year-old Barrouallie resident Jamie Pierre in a robbery matter.

Pierre was charged with robbing Brian Lee of Barrouallie of $1,460 on January 29, 2010.

Pierre was sentenced to a suspended sentence of three years imprisonment.

Appearing for Garraway yesterday, attorney Lyndon George told Appeal Court judges Louise Blenman, Don Mitchell and Chief Justice Janice Pereira that his client should have received a suspended sentence too.

According to George, arising out of the same matter involving Pierre, Garraway was sentenced to six months in prison for ammunition possession at the Serious Offences Court and was not allowed to plead to the gun charge there.

“Had he been allowed to plead, he would have pleaded guilty to the two of them at the same time. He wouldn’t have had to do six months then and come back and do three years…,” George argued.

He said the sentences would have been concurrent and not consecutive.

George noted that even though everything arose out of the same circumstances, the judge may have been confused and “perhaps had it in his mind” that it was a previous conviction on the ammunition possession.

“He has already done six months and another 15 months from the time he was sentenced on the gun charge. He has already, cumulatively, served 21 months in prison….”

George said more could have been done by the authorities to deduce how his client came to have the gun.

The lawyer then asked the court to vary his client’s sentence to time served.

Crown counsel Sejilla McDowall did not challenge George’s submission and the judges ordered that the appeal against sentence to be allowed and sentence varied to time served.(KW)

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