The incident took place on Christmas Day of 2010 in Baron’s Drive, Soufriere. The victim was Winell O’Neal of Soufriere.
It was alleged, and accepted by the court, that on the day in question, Clement and Butcher went to Baron’s Drive where they encountered the victim.
The deceased O’ Neal approached the two men and demanded payment of monies allegedly owed to him by Clement. Clement, who was armed with a knife at the time, pushed the victim and acted in a generally aggressive manner.
The deceased attempted to leave the area to avoid the brewing altercation. However, Clement and Butcher gave chase and cornered the victim.
After they cornered the victim, Clement produced a knife and proceeded to stab the victim several times about the body while his friend, Butcher, hit him about the head with a wooden post. They further dealt the victim several kicks and blows about his body after he was down.
The victim was transported to the Soufriere Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
A post mortem of the body found that the victim died due to blunt force trauma to the head as a result of severe blows, and blood loss due to stab wounds to the chest area and the back of his left arm, amongst others.
The two men were indicted on October 20, 2011 where they both pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder. Almost one year later on October 2, 2012, the two men pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The lesser plea was accepted by the crown and pre-sentence reports were ordered on the defendants.
The report revealed that Clement was a fourth form drop-out of Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School, where he had been in and out of trouble for various misdeeds, including smoking cannabis and gambling. He has no previous convictions.
Butcher, on the other hand, was a fifth form graduate of Soufriere Comprehensive where he earned passes in six subjects at the CXC examinations. He also had no previous convictions.
Both men were known to be mainly non-violent in the interactions with others on a day-to-day basis.
In handing down his sentence, Justice Francis Cumberbatch stated some of themitigating factors for both men, which included a lack of premeditation, genuine expressions of remorse, the lack of previous convictions, and the early plea of guilty in the matter.
Some of the aggravating factors were the severity of their actions, the weapons used, the fact that Clement owed the defendant and attacked him anyway, the fact that Butcher followed Clement’s lead, and the fact that they pursued a man who tried to flee trouble, and ended his life.
Justice Cumberbatch stated that the benchmark for this offence was 15 years in prison. He then granted a 1/3 deduction for the early guilty plea and a further two-year deduction for the genuine expressions of remorse from both defendants.
As a result, both defendants were handed an eight-year sentence which will be counted from December 29, 2010, when they were first remanded.
Clement is further ordered to avail himself of the rehabilitation and job training programmes available at the Bordelais Correctional Facility.
Both men were ordered to counselling for drug abuse and addiction.