Court of Appeal upholds stabbing sentence

Sentence deemed to be within recommended range

Cory Godfrey Bowen lost his appeal on Tuesday against a sentence of five years and three months for wounding with intent. The victim/complainant was a man with whom Bowen’s girlfriend had a relationship.

The incident occurred in June 2015, and a Grand Court jury found Bowen guilty in March 2016.

Bowen, representing himself in the Court of Appeal, argued that the sentence was excessive in the circumstances. He told the court, “When all this happened, I really wasn’t in my right mind because my brother was shot that evening.”

Crown counsel Scott Wainwright explained that the wounding occurred around 5 a.m. on June 13, 2015, when Bowen was taking his girlfriend to her home and the complainant was standing in the road nearby. The prosecution’s case was that Bowen left his vehicle with a knife and approached the man, who knocked Bowen to the ground.

Mr. Wainwright said that as the men struggled, Bowen stabbed the other man three times, in his head, neck and abdomen. The man made a full recovery but was left with permanent scars.

Bowen, now 31, told the court he was sorry for what had happened and he had not been trying to kill anyone. He explained that he had been at the hospital trying to get word about his brother. Then he saw the complainant, who told him he heard that Bowen’s brother got shot, and added, “It should be you got shot.”

The appellant said it was not his knife: “I did not approach him with any knife.” He said the injuries occurred while the other man was on top of him, hitting him.

“I’m not a bad person. You can see my history,” he told the appeal judges. He described himself as a good worker, someone who did not loaf around or get into gang activity.

Justice Dennis Morrison, who delivered the judges’ decision, referred to the history between the two men because of their respective relationships with the same woman. On this occasion, the complainant had tried to protect himself as Bowen “kept coming toward him with a knife.”

Justice Morrison quoted Grand Court Judge Alistair Malcolm, who said, “Knives are lethal weapons and if taken into any confrontation can easily cause fatal consequences. Anybody using a knife in a fight can expect to be dealt with severely by the courts.”

He said Justice Malcolm had taken into account the mitigating circumstances – that Bowen’s behavior was out of character.

U.K. sentencing guidelines for wounding with intent have a starting point of six years, with a range of five to nine years. He said the sentencing judge had started at six years, did not identify any aggravating features and gave Bowen credit for his previous good character, resulting in the sentence of five years and three months.

The sentence was well within the range and there was no basis on which the court could disturb it, Justice Morrison concluded.

Justice Morrison heard the appeal with court president Sir John Goldring and Sir Richard Field.

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