Grenada: A twenty-one-year-old native of St. John who was charged with the brutal murder of a fifty-seven-year-old British pensioner in the town of Waltham in St. Mark in May 2019 was sentenced to nineteen years and five months imprisonment.
High Court Judge Mrs Victoria Victoria Clark on Thursday, during a sentencing hearing in Supreme Court Number Two, handed down the sentence of nearly two decades over the twenty-one-year-old killer, Azim Phillip.
Phillip, who followed the proceedings via zoom of the Richmond Hill Jail, pleaded guilty to the charge against him and thus accepted full responsibility for his victim’s throat, Dennis John, while the victim was sleeping in his home in Waltham St. Mark.
According to the evidence that came from the court, Phillip forced him into John’s house, entered his room and committed the heinous act with a knife before escaping from the premises.
John’s cousin, who also slept in the house that night, reported hearing a strange sound from John’s room, and he went to see what was happening and John held on to his neck with blood coming from an open wound flow. He was subsequently pronounced dead by medical experts.
During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Clark told the court that while the case’s substantive verdict stands at thirty-two years, several factors contributed to the visible reduction of the sentence, including the fact that the accused pleaded guilty and therefore entitled to a reduction of the punishment of 1/3, besides, she said, was deducted one year and eleven months beyond the time spent on it.
However, in her ruling, the judge concluded that based on the nature of the murder, Phillip’s actions were premeditated and included some planning. According to her, the victim was asleep and defenceless when he was killed.
Meanwhile, a psychiatric report submitted to the court by medical experts concluded that Phillip had a difficult upbringing, that he had seen and experienced domestic abuse, and that he was suffering from the anti-personal disorder.
One expert concludes that he could be a threat to himself and his community if allowed on the street again.
In her ruling, however, Judge Clark concludes that Phillip sincerely repented and that he was willing to change.
A portion of the judge’s sentence includes treatment for psychotherapy in prison for his illness, which must be reviewed after ten months. In addition, he must be enrolled for any technical and skills training program undertaken by the prison.