Dexter Bodden, known as the Calypso Cowboy, was given a 20-month suspended prison sentence for wounding a would-be burglar with a machete.
Bodden, 61, was originally charged with one count of wounding with intent. He pleaded not guilty on the grounds of self-defence. In June, however, he entered a guilty plea to the lesser charge of wounding.
An initial prison sentence of two years and six months was reduced by 10 months to reflect a number of mitigating circumstances surrounding Bodden’s case.
When handing down her ruling, Justice Marlene Carter found there were seven primary mitigating factors that warranted a reduction in the sentence.
“This incident occurred at his [Mr. Bodden’s] home, a place where everyone should feel safe,” said Carter. “Mr. Bodden’s expressed genuine remorse for his actions and for the complainant. Mr. Bodden has also entered a guilty plea.”
Justice Carter found that a 15-month delay between the date of the wounding, and police deciding to charge Mr. Bodden, as well as the defendant’s willingness to pay compensation of $7,000 (half of the complainant’s medical expenses) were all reasons to reduce the sentence.
A social inquiry report quoted Bodden as saying, “I didn’t mean to injure him. He got cuts because he lifted his hands while I was slapping him with the machete.”
In a victim impact report, the complainant said, “I’m 31-year-old man with two children to support. I am no longer able to walk fast because of my injuries, and I now have scars.”
During an initial sentencing hearing, while arguing on his client’s behalf, Nicholas Dixey told Justice Carter that if ever there was a case where a suspended sentence was appropriate, this was it.
“Not only has Mr. Bodden entered a guilty plea,” said Dixey, “he is willing to pay compensation to the intruder, the same man who shot him three months after the incident.”
Justice Carter imposed the suspended sentence on Bodden, and also ordered that he pay $7,000 in compensation.
The complainant has been arrested in relation to the Bodden’s shooting, and was released on police bail. No charges have been laid against him.