High Court Judge Victoria Charles-Clarke today sentenced Daniel Elton Bannis of Castle Bruce to 15 years in jail after he pleaded guilty to man slaughter for the May 14, 2013 murder of 74-year-old Julius Joseph, better known as Edictor, also of Castle Bruce.
Joseph was found dead on the public road a short distance from the Castle Bruce secondary school on May 14, 2013.
Bannis’s lawyer, Tiyani Behanzin, in his mitigating plea, told the court that when the incident occurred in 2013, his client was then aged 27, married and the father of two young children.
“He has not had the chance to bond with his children…his marriage is now on the line; he has been in custody now for over five years. So, we’re asking the court to temper justice with mercy in passing sentence,” Behanzin said.
Before delivering her sentence, the judge said the deceased was never a threat to Bannis. In fact, they were family friends and he has shown “no remorse whatever even after his guilty plea,” she stated.
In passing sentence, Justice Charles-Clarke looked at the mitigating and aggravating factors and said the aggravating factors far outweighed the mitigating factors. She set the bench mark at 19 years and added 2 years for a total of 21 years since, according to her, “He was not remorseful for his actions.” Justice Charles-Clarke then gave a discount of 3 years seven months and subtracted the time served of 5 years 8 months, 2 weeks and two days which leaves a balance of 12 years 4 months.
Meantime, his lawyer Tiyani Behanzin called the case “a difficult one for all” but said he was “satisfied with the sentence since it was touch and go.”
“The incident was gruesome. He stabbed this frail, 74 year-old man several times with a knife across his neck and other parts of his body and refuses to show remorse for his actions,” Behanzin said.
He thanked the police officers for their work and expressed the view that after such investigations confronting such gruesome murders, the police should be given counseling.
“Instead they go back to work and to families and then retire with very little compensation for the work done for the State,” Behanzin stated.