Crown prosecutors are appealing the suspended sentence handed down to a man convicted of assaulting a senior police officer who required hospital treatment following the attack.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran confirmed this week that the department has applied for leave to appeal the non-custodial sentence given to Seth Watler, 25, on the grounds that it was “too lenient.”

Mr. Watler was given 100 hours of community service and a 10-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

Detective Superintendent Peter Lansdown sustained multiple injuries and was knocked unconscious when he hit the pavement after being punched by Mr. Watler in October last year.

Mr. Lansdown, who heads special operations, including the criminal investigation department and the drugs and serious crime units, had stopped at the scene of the single-vehicle accident on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway. He was assaulted by Mr. Watler at the scene of the accident, leaving him with a fractured rib, bruised cheeks and a cut to his head. He spent three days in hospital being treated for his injuries.

Mr. Watler pleaded guilty to the assault and was sentenced in December.

Justice Marlene Carter cited the fact that this was his first offense as a factor in her sentence. She told the defendant that his actions amounted to a “single, unguarded moment,” and warned him that he could have faced a stricter sentence under other circumstances.

Mr. Moran confirmed the DPP’s appeal in an email to the Compass this week.

He wrote, “I can confirm that on Dec. 18, 2017, a notice of application was filed at the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal on behalf of the Crown. The application is for leave to refer the sentence passed on Mr. Walter in the Grand Court to be reviewed by the Court of Appeal, on the basis that it was unduly lenient, under section 30 of the Court of Appeal Law (2011 Revision).”

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  1. One of the primary considerations when imposing a sentence after a guilty verdict is – What message will this sentence send to anyone who may be tempted to commit a similar offence in the future?
    In this case the message delivered is clear. As long as you’ve never been before the courts before you get one free shot at any other individual, up to and including an officer of the law, as long as you don’t kill him, or her. And then you walk free.
    I’m launching a new line of ballcaps and t-shirts – Make Cayman Safe Again.