(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS) – At the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal sitting at the Lee Llewellyn Moore Judicial Complex in St. Kitts the appeal matter of Jamie Wilkinson of Cotton Ground, Nevis was heard on Tuesday, February 11, 2014.
Wilkinson was convicted on April 12, 2011 for the offence of wounding with intent which was committed on September 27, 2010 at Nelson Spring, Nevis. He was found guilty at the Charlestown High Court of wounding Calvin ‘Cal’ Prentice of Church Ground. Both men worked together at the time of the incident. Wilkinson was sentenced to five (5) years imprisonment by His Lordship Justice Albert Redhead.
Wilkinson who was represented by Attorney John Cato appealed against his conviction and sentence on three (3) grounds.
1. Error of the Judge in summation to the jury on self-defense
2. Error of judgment in summation to the jury on the role of the Prosecution in disproving self-defense
3. Error of the Judge in summation to the jury in relation to inconsistencies and discrepancies
1. Sentence was unduly harsh, and should be revised down
The Court of Appeal, however, found no merit in the majority of the points advanced as grounds of the appeal, and found no merit in any of the grounds of the appeal.
In relation to the points the Appeal Justices made the following findings;
1. This court having reviewed the summation of the Judge in its entirety is of the view that the learned Trial Judge sufficiently directed the jury on self-defense. The summation when considered as a whole would have conveyed to the jury that they were required to consider the issue of the appellant’s honest belief that he was in danger and acted in self-defense.
2. This court is further of the view that the learned Trial Judge on several occasions directed the jury that the burden was upon the Prosecution to prove that the appellant was not acting in self-defense. In fact, the Judge indicated that the appellant was not required to prove that he was acting in self-defense.
On the issue of sentence, both sides agreed that the Notional Sentence was between five (5) and seven (7) years, the mitigating factors considered were;
1. The age of the appellant (20 years)
2. The appellant having no previous conviction
3. The appellant being a national and regional cricketer
The aggravating Factors were;
1. The seriousness and nature of the offence
2. The fact that the injuries inflicted were life threatening
The court found that the mitigating factors and the aggravating factors balanced out each other. Therefore there were no needs to disturb the sentence of the learned Trial Judge. The appeal against conviction and sentence was dismissed.
The sitting Justices are Lord President, Justice Baptist, Madam Justice of Appeal, Gertel Thom, and His Lordship, Justice of Appeal, Mario Mitchel.