Judge considers unrelated wounding in total six-year sentence
Chadwick Bradford Dale was sentenced on Friday to six years imprisonment after entering pleas arising from two separate incidents, a machete attack and a robbery in which a woman on a beach was stabbed twice with a screwdriver.
The wounding with intent case occurred last September and the robbery of the woman happened in December.
Justice Michael Mettyear said if each offence stood alone, the sentence would be longer, but he agreed with defence attorney John Furniss that he had to look at the principle of totality. For a wounding with intent to cause bodily harm, Dale received two and a half years. For the robbery, he received three and a half years for a total of six years.
The judge said he also considered the fact that Dale was only 21 and had no previous convictions.
The first offence occurred on 8 September 2012 and involved someone about whom Dale had complained to police. He pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, but guilty to wounding with intent to cause bodily harm.
Crown Counsel Candia James said there had been an altercation between Dale and a relative of Trevin Campbell, who was 19 at the time. When they saw each other the day of the incident, Mr. Campbell told Dale to stay away from his relative. When he did not get a response, he approached Dale. Both of them had machetes. Mr. Campbell said Dale swung at him and missed and then got Mr. Campbell’s machete away from him.
Dale hit him on the shoulder and then threw a rock at him. Mr. Campbell threw the rock back at Dale, who hit him with the machete again. Mr. Campbell ran, but tripped and fell. Dale chopped him on the back of the head and continued chopping at him until a neighbour intervened.
Ms James said the injuries sustained were a 2.3-inch wound to the shoulder, a 2-inch wound to the foot and a 1.4-inch wound to the head. The chop to the foot went through the instep and into the bone, resulting in a fracture, she added.
According to a victim impact statement, the wounds were not permanent. However, Mr. Campbell had difficulties at work carrying heavy materials, but his boss had switched him to lighter duties.
The second incident occurred on 9 December 2012, while Dale was on bail, and he was charged with robbery and wounding. After his guilty plea to robbery, the wounding charge was left on file.
The robbery victim, Jessica Roberts, later spoke with a Caymanian Compass reporter about the incident (Beach attacks kept quiet, 9 January).
Ms James told the court that Ms Roberts arrived in the vicinity of Calico Jack’s on Seven Mile Beach around 6.30pm. She saw a large group of people on the beach and there appeared to be an incident in which a customer was injured. She saw a man running from the scene and followed him while trying to call police.
Justice Mettyear summed up what happened in his sentencing remarks. He said Dale had almost certainly been misbehaving and, as a result of his conduct, was seen running away.
When Dale saw Ms Roberts following him, he attacked her and took her bag.
With great bravery, the judge said, she followed and begged for the return of her bag. There was a struggle and the bag fell to the ground. Ms Roberts retrieved it and gave Dale what money was inside ($40).
After receiving the money, Dale stabbed her twice in the stomach area with a screwdriver, saying, “You dead now, gal.”
Earlier in the hearing, Justice Mettyear asked about the effects of the incident on the victim. He was told there apparently were no long-term effects and she was back to work.
The judge commented, “One would have thought that this was a horrifying event for her.”
He said it was an aggravating feature that the wounds were inflicted gratuitously – after the money was handed over.
He noted that the tariff for what is referred to as a street robbery or mugging is four years, with a range from two to seven years.
Mr. Furniss spoke in mitigation for Dale, explaining that the defendant had come to Cayman in October 2011 to join his mother and obtain work. He said it was unfortunate that Dale didn’t walk away in the first incident, when he was being provoked. Dale had said he was “simply slapping” the other man with the machete.
On the day of the robbery, Mr. Furniss related, Dale said he had been drinking fairly excessively and smoke some ganja. “He behaved in a way that he otherwise would not have done” and now apologised to the lady he robbed.