Double amputee freed after nearly one and a half years in prison
A double amputee who was sentenced to four years in prison last year for stabbing his wife in her chest, was sentenced to time served by the Court of Appeal this Wednesday.
Therefore, Andrew Myers became a free man just before noon, after spending only one year, four months and two weeks incarcerated.
Myers hadn’t smiled while he was sitting in the courtroom, but he did smile when the news finally sunk in after one of the officers told him that he was going home.
The original four-year sentence had been handed down by Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett on May 29 at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, after the prisoner pleaded guilty to wounding his wife, Monique Myers, on May 26 at their house in Buccament Bay.
The facts of the matter were that Andrew had called the police to their home on that day, saying that his wife and son were beating him. However, the police said that when they got to the house this did not seem to be so, and instead there was an argument about car keys. After speaking to the parties, the police were in the process of leaving when they were stopped by the wife who was running after them with a wound to her chest.
The wife told the police that her husband had removed a knife from where he was hiding it in his wheelchair and stabbed her. The police then went and took the heavy silver handled knife from Andrew.
While the defendant did not have a lawyer when he was sentenced last year, he had acquired the services of attorney Israel Bruce for the appeal. However, Bruce was not present on Wednesday, and instead, lawyer Kensha Theobalds indicated that she was holding papers for him.
Crown counsel Tammika Dasilva-McKenzie appeared for the state.
DaSilva-McKenzie’s submissions were that the crown felt the sentence could be varied so that the remainder of the four years could be converted into a suspended sentence. It was also suggested that the sentence should be between two and three years.
Regardless, Theobalds pushed for the sentence to be converted to time served instead, which would mean that the prison time that Myers had already done would be determined to be a sufficient sentence overall.
The Justices of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) presiding on Wednesday, Mario Michel, and Louise Blenman, as well as the Chief Justice Dame Janice Pereira, were all looking at the fact that the prisoner was 52 years when he was convicted and had no previous convictions at the time.
Justice Blenman also praised counsel DaSilva-McKenzie saying that it was “very professional and commendable” that she had conceded that the sentence was harsh.
After discussion between the three Justices, the Chief Justice announced that they were of the view that the sentence of four years “was unduly harsh given all the circumstances” of the case.
They also noted that he had reported to the police in relation to abuse that he was alleged to be receiving from his wife and son.
The Chief Justice announced that the sentence should be time served.
Justice Blenman once again indicated that they wished to commend counsel DaSilva-McKenzie for her professionalism in the matter.