St. Andrew resident Sheldon Ruben, who was last November accused of trying to kill his ex-girlfriend, has been sentenced to 4 years behind bars on a wounding conviction.
High Court Judge Justice Shiraz Aziz handed down the ruling Tuesday at the No. 1 High Court in St. George’s.
The 35-year-old gambler from Paradise, St. Andrew, was charged with wounding and attempted non-capital murder, following an incident that occurred on November 6, 2014, that left the young lady, who was appearing as a witness for the Prosecution in a case against him nursing a 1.5 centimeter long wound across her neck.
The court was told that as Ruben exited the Grenville Magistrate’s Court on the day in question, he used “some sort of item” to inflict the wound on the individual, who was at the time “seated on a bench” in the vicinity of the courtroom.
Police officers did not recover the item used to inflict the wound, which the doctor who examined the young lady, suggested was inflicted by a sharp instrument.
Ruben, who has been on remand at the Richmond Hill prison since the day of his arrest on November 6, 2014, pleaded guilty to wounding and not guilty to attempted non-capital murder on November 24, 2015.
Although he pleaded guilty to intentionally and unlawfully causing a wound to his ex-lover, Ruben threw blame at a “police officer” for what transpired on the day in question.
“The police officer pushed me while I was about to hug my girlfriend,” Ruben told the High Court Tuesday in an attempt to convince the judge that what transpired was indeed an accident.
In mitigating his case Ruben’s Attorney Ashley Bernadine directed the court to his client’s past.
Bernadine said that his client grew up with his mother as a Seventh Day Adventist but his lifestyle was marred by a lack of “strong parental guidance” from his parents who were gamblers themselves.
He argued that the accused who had a string of 15 convictions including larceny, a number of drug-related offences, as well as wounding and causing harm, turned to the use of illicit drugs and alcohol.
“There is no safety net to watch these things, to guide our boys… Our society has failed this man…everyone turned a blind eye and the offences keep repeating themselves…plus the compulsion of gambling,” Bernadine told the court.
“He (Ruben) is remorseful….wounding was caused but there was no intention to cause harm,” said the Attorney-at-law.
In handing down sentence, Justice Aziz noted that the only mitigating factor taken by him into consideration was Ruben’s age and his guilty plea.
“In my view this is a very serious offence,” the High Court Judge said, adding that a “significant degree of premeditation” was done prior to the commission of the offence by Rubin.
Justice Aziz also pointed out that the crime was committed against the young lady while the accused was on remand for another offence.
The judge said that from the evidence provided to the court, Ruben admitted to “feeling frustrated” and had expressed his intention of “killing her (his ex-lover) and making a jail.”
He added that Ruben also accused her and another individual of setting him up.
Defense attorney, Ashley Bernadine cried out for help and counseling for his client, but the judge did not proceed along those lines.
Justice Aziz took the decision to grant the 34-year-old a maximum discount for his guilty plea and also credited him for the 396 days already spent on remand.
Ruben has another 18 months to serve at the Richmond Hill Prison before he is released from custody to return to society.