Desmond Fletcher Gets 18 Years in Prison

After almost three years of waiting, a St. Mark’s family believes that justice has finally been done in a case involving 52-year-old Allison Edwards of Queen Street, Victoria who was murdered back in April 2013.

Desmond Fletcher (left) and Keiron Hillaire (right) being escorted from court Tuesday

Desmond Fletcher (left) and Keiron Hillaire (right) being escorted from court Tuesday

The suspect 28-year old Desmond Fletcher of Fairfield, Victoria was on Tuesday sent to the Richmond Hill prison to serve a sentence of 18 years for the crime.

Fletcher who pleaded guilty to Non–Capital Murder on January 26th, 2015 appeared before Madam Justice Price-Findlay at the St George’s High Court Number One for his sentence hearing.

The body of the deceased, who this newspaper understands was in a relationship with the now convicted man, was found in a shallow grave in the village of Bocage, St. Mark.

The Police have said that the deceased was murdered sometime between Tuesday, April 16 and Sunday, April 21, 2013.

An autopsy revealed that the causes of death were asphyxia due to strangulation, and multiple fractured ribs with haemopneumothorax.

This newspaper understands Fletcher has a history of mental and psychological issues and had been admitted to the Mt. Gay Mental Hospital on at least three occasions.

During the sentence hearing, Counsel for the accused, Attorney-at-Law, Ashley Bernardine told the court that Fletcher has become a model prisoner since the date of his remand on April 25, 2013.

The attorney later told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that his client, who has one previous conviction resulting from an altercation with the now deceased, comes from a big family and has been mentally challenged due to the drinking of alcohol and smoking of marijuana since the age of 13.

He pointed to Fletcher’s achievements, including his stint as captain of both the cricket and football teams at the prison, and his academic excellence as the accused is now preparing to sit the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) in January 2016.

In April 2014, Fletcher sat the National School Leaving exams, placing 2nd on the island.

Speaking with reporters following the handing down of Tuesday’s sentence, a sister of the deceased expressed satisfaction to some extent with the outcome of the case.

She recalled that “considering the gravity of the crime and the coldness of it…he killed her and like that wasn’t enough because he became his own La Qua…after he killed her, he dug a hole and buried her and for four days the family went searching for her and he walked the streets of Victoria with no remorse but now he going inside the court house and saying he doing exam…he should have studied that before he killed her.”

The High Court has credited Fletcher for the time spent on remand.

In addition to the 18-year jail term, the convicted man was ordered to continue Counselling for Anger Management and Substance Abuse with quarterly reports to be submitted to the Court.

Madam Price-Findlay warned Fletcher that in default he would have to serve 2 years imprisonment to run consecutively with the primary sentence and to continue with his education at Her Majesty’s Prisons.

Meanwhile, twenty-six year old Keiron Hillaire of Tivoli, St. Andrew, who was charged by police with Maiming following an incident dating back to January 3, 2014, is now a free man.

Hillaire, who was remanded at the prison for 18 months was granted a sentence of time served but with set conditions when he appeared before Madam Justice Price-Findlay for sentencing Tuesday.

The accused was ordered to pay compensation in the sum of $22, 000 to the complainant Nyron Isaac, who received a 7 centimeter chop to his right forearm, which resulted in him being unable to use his hand to make a complete fist.

The court ordered that payment be done in $500 monthly installments and in default serve two years in prison.

Justice Price-Findlay advised the accused to find employment within three months time or by October 2015 since the payments will have to begin at the end of November.

Hillaire was also ordered to serve 200 hours of community service and in default serve two years in prison.

He was also placed on a $15, 000 bond to keep the peace for two years with two sureties.

Unfortunately, the prisoner was unable to walk free following Tuesday’s hearing, as no one was present to sign the bond for him and he was transported back to Her Majesty’s Prison.

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