Sentence reduced in bar stabbing

| 04/09/2019 | 5 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cayman Islands courts, Grand Cayman

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal reduced Carlo Malik Webster Jr’s sentence for wounding with intent from six years to five, after his case was heard Monday, 2 September. The decision turned on the amount of discount the defendant should have received for his guilty plea. Justice Roger Chapple originally sentenced Webster to 7½ years, with a 20% discount for his plea, for a total of six years.

Appearing for Webster, Jonathon Hughes offered three grounds for appeal for the reduction in sentence for the March 2017 stabbing of a man at the Jungle Bar, in which the victim received a 5cm by 2cm wound to his lower abdomen, requiring a week’s stay in hospital and a follow-up admission the next month for additional surgery. Webster was 21 at the time with a long list of prior offences, including wounding, burglary, ABH, damaging property and possession of ganja.

For his first ground, Hughes submitted that Justice Chapple mischaracterised the injury the victim sustained as life-threatening and did not take into account the medical evidence, which said otherwise.

Cayman News Service
Sir John Goldring, President of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal

Justice Goldring noted that the victim spent a week in hospital, suffered from extreme pain and returned for further surgery. Hughes replied that the medical report did not state the injury was life-threatening, to which the justice responded that if you take a knife and stab someone in the lower abdomen you “intend to cause serious injury”.

Hughes then argued that insufficient consideration was given to Webster’s young age at the time of the offence and his difficult upbringing, though he noted that Webster’s extensive criminal record was “perhaps his greatest challenge”.

Webster’s father was shot and killed when he was a young teen and his mother suffered from psychological issues and was addicted to drugs, resulting in Webster being sent to live in Bonaventure Boys Home. The attorney recounted that when Webster aged out of the home and “dropped out of the system, he fell hard”, acknowledging that the young man “went somewhat off the rails” from ages 17-19.

However, Hughes told the court that Webster subsequently turned his life around, and stayed out of trouble during the 17 months between his conviction for wounding and the sentencing. After his “very turbulent adolescence, things have been levelling out”, the attorney said, noting that Webster, who is now married with a daughter, has “stabilised” his life and started to mature.

Hughes’ third point centred around the trial judge not giving enough credit for his client’s guilty plea; the difference between the 20% given and the full one-third translated into another year of prison time. The sticking point was that Webster did not plead guilty at the first opportunity but Hughes said that was not his fault. The timing of the plea was delayed by discussions between the defence and prosecution over a robbery charge, which was eventually left on file. Crown counsel Kenneth Ferguson conceded that point to the court.

After deliberating, the justices accepted the defence’s argument on the proper credit for Webster’s guilty plea, setting aside the six-year sentence, and awarding the full one-third discount for a new total of five years.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Nuisance

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    • Anonymous says:

      Call it a nuisance however I call it a Caymanian let down by the system.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Bonaventure and Northward Prison are Correctional facilities, he can read, write and count. He could have gotten a job like everyone else. Even if he didnt want to be a decent person atleast dont do stupidness like stabbing someone. Theres half decent criminals that just sell Ganja and can still tell people Good Morning and give his neighbor sugar if he needs it. If youre going to be a piece of sh*t, atleast be a polished POS.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    I am glad the Court of Appeal gave credit where credit is due.

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