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Man to be sentenced in January 2015 for attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend

Man to be sentenced in January 2015 for attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend


Barrouallie resident, Brenon Roberts will be sentenced on January 28, 2015 for the attempted murder of his former girlfriend, Prislet Francis.

On Tuesday this week, a nine member jury that deliberated for over two hours at the High Court’s Criminal Azzises{{more}} also found Roberts guilty of disobedience of lawful orders.

According to Francis’ testimony, on April 22, 2013, at about 9 p.m., while she was walking home, she saw someone standing behind a lamp pole.

She said she stood a while and looked at the person and recognised him to be Roberts, the man with whom she said she had shared a 14-year relationship that produced one child.

Francis said when she saw her attacker, she began runnning, but her sandals got tangled causing her to fall to the ground.

That was when she said her former lover unleashed his wrath on her.

The 34-year-old recalled Roberts using a cutlass to chop her repeatedly about her body, at Larley Road in Barrouallie.

Prosecution witness Corlan Hepburn told the court that he was in his house watching television when he heard someone crying out.

He said he went to look for a cutlass but did not find one, so he rushed out the house with a hammer.

When he got to where the noise was coming from, Hepburn said he shouted at Roberts to stop, but he didn’t. It was only when Hepburn went closer to the scene that Roberts fled.

A severely injured Francis was rushed to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital where she underwent surgery and received more than 40 stitches to close her wounds.

Prior to that attack, on April 18, that same year, Francis obtained a Protection Order from the Family Court against Roberts who had previously wounded her.

The couple also had a custody visitation rights hearing at the court and Roberts was granted two weekends per month to have his daughter.

Roberts will be sentenced pending a probation report to be submitted to the Court on or before January 26, 2015.

The trial is the first in the High Court where video technology permitted by the Interviewing of Suspects for Serious Crimes Act (No: 4 of 2012) was used.

The video interview with Roberts was played in Court for the jury on December 11, just before the close of the prosecution’s case.

When contacted, Assistant Director of Public Prosecution, Colin John told SEARCHLIGHT that he is happy that the first case using video technology was successful.

“It shows an improvement and transparency in the justice system,” John said.

He said the success comes on the heels of the recent acquittal of former murder accused Otricia Smart, who had told the Court that she did not voluntarily give a statement to police officers.

“If this legislation was in place at that time, it would have been very much different… The system is a fair way of soliciting confession evidence,” John added.

Crown counsel Karim Nelson led the prosecution’s case while Grant Connell appeared on Roberts’ behalf.

Justice Kathy-Ann Latchoo presided over the matter.(KW)