Seven years for wounding

Albert Orlando Seymour, 24, was sentenced on 1 February
to seven years imprisonment for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily
harm. After trial in December, a Grand Court jury found him not guilty of
attempted murder but guilty of the wounding charge.

Seymour was remanded in custody, but Justice Charles Quin
adjourned sentencing so that a social inquiry report could be obtained. In the
report, Seymour was quoted as saying that he had pleaded not guilty because
both he and his victim were injured in the incident.

The offence occurred in August 2009. Tareek Ricketts
received chop wounds to his head, inflicted with a machete. Two were deep
lacerations, and a brain scan confirmed that his skull was fractured (Caymanian
Compass, 22 December). There were also superficial lacerations to different
parts of the body.

Senior Crown Counsel John Masters submitted that where
the victim suffered a life-threatening injury or particularly grave injuries
from a premeditated wounding, the sentence could range between 10 and 16 years.

Defence Attorney Lucy Organ submitted that the injuries
were serious but not life-threatening. She also argued that there was not much
planning involved, since the incident occurred over a matter of minutes.

Seymour had been talking to Ricketts’ girlfriend and her
brother at their home. Seymour left the house after Ricketts arrived and the
two had words which, the judge said, were “clearly hostile in nature.” Seymour
left the yard, went to his own residence nearby and returned with a machete.
Ricketts, anticipating there might be trouble, had taken a machete out of his
car and had it ready in case he was attacked.

Seymour came back to the yard, took his machete out of
his pants waist and proceeded to attack and chop at Ricketts. The two men
chopped at each other. When Ricketts dropped his machete, Seymour continued his
attack even after Ricketts was on the ground.

The doctor who treated Ricketts described his injuries as
serious but not likely to be permanent.

In passing sentence, Justice Quin said: “A court must be
cautious in distinguishing cases on the basis of the injuries received because,
more often than not, the seriousness or otherwise of the injuries is a matter
of pure fortune and chance.”

Cases cited to him included a man convicted after trial receiving
seven years. Two men who pleaded guilty received six and
seven years respectively.

Justice Quin pointed to a decision by the Court of
Appeal, which said an offence involving the infliction of very serious injuries
with a knife would attract a sentence of between seven and nine years if the
accused had not pleaded guilty.

Other factors he considered included how vulnerable the
victim was, the degree of planning, and whether the offence was committed in a
public place.

From information disclosed in the social inquiry report,
the judge said Seymour quite possibly had some significant anger management
difficulties.