A 15 –year sentence has been handed down on 29-year-old, Nicklus Leroy Jacob of Berrotte, St. David, for the September 27, 2014 death of his 28 year-old cousin, Kareem Jacob of the same village.
Presiding judge, Justice Shiraz Aziz who presides over the No. 1 High Court in St. George’s delivered the sentence last Week Thursday on Jacobs.
The murder incident took place as a result of a misunderstanding between the two cousins and another individual over a pack of cigarette.
The deceased received a fatal stab wound to the left side of his neck, with a knife measuring 2 cm in width and 20 cm in length.
Kareem reportedly succumbed to his injuries at the General Hospital in St. George’s, where surgeons performed emergency surgery in an attempt to save his life.
An autopsy report concluded that he died from hypovolemic shock.
During the sentencing, it was revealed that Jacobs who assisted in carrying his cousin to the hospital for treatment responded in shock to what transpired and threatened to take his own life if anything happened to his cousin.
In mitigating the case, his lawyer, Ashley Bernadine drew the courts attention to his client’s immediate acceptance of responsibility for his actions, his guilty plea at the first opportunity, his sincere expression of remorse, and his recognition of the impact the incident had on the other family members.
These were all considered by the court, which also noted the prevalence of these types of offenses in the country and the public impact of violence on the streets.
“This is a rather unfortunate case for all concerned…the loss of a life of someone who was described as a kind, friendly, helpful individual…this is mindless, unwanted violence,” Justice Aziz declared.
The judge pointed to the Social Inquiry Report, which stated that the cousins were so close that many referred to them as brothers.
The mother of the deceased also said that the now convicted man was treated just as well as anyone else in the family and his action came as a complete shock to them.
The report also noted that the accused was involved in “significant substance and alcohol abuse” throughout his life and he admitted that this usually led to arguments and fights with other persons in the community.
According to the report, Jacobs also admitted to consuming alcohol prior to the incident.
The High Court Judge lamented the aggravating factors of the case – the closeness of the two, and the fact that the crime was committed in the presence of others.
Jacobs who has 4 previous convictions, including assault and disorderly behaviour, has been on remand at the Richmond Hill prison since September 30, 2014.
A painter/maintenance worker by profession, was initially charged with non-capital murder, but pleaded guilty to a lesser offence of Manslaughter on November 24, 2014.
Justice Aziz, granted him the full notional 1/3 discount for his guilty plea, which reduced his sentence by 5 years.
Jacobs was also credited for the time spent on remand, bringing down his sentence to approximately 9 years in prison.