THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN SUPREME COURT
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
CASE NO. 56 OF 2003
Ms. Victoria Charles DPP [ag] for the Prosecution
Mr. Shawn Innocent for the Accused. With him is Ms. Mary Juliana Charles
2003: November 19
1. HARIPRASHAD-CHARLES J: The Accused, Orlando Emanus is charged with causing
the death of Gabriel Paul by unlawful harm contrary to Section 169 (2) of the Criminal
Code of Saint Lucia.
2. Briefly the facts are as follows: On Friday, 16th July 1999, the Deceased Gabriel Paul aged
36 was at a dance at the Dennery Multi-purpose Centre. While at the dance, he met one
Sammy Martin and her friend, Paula George. Sammy Martin was the girlfriend of the
Accused. It is alleged that she was having a relationship with the deceased. The Deceased
began dancing with Sammy and Paula. He was buying drinks for them also. He bought
drinks for Anthony Gilbert and his girlfriend, Ms. Evans. He then asked Gilbert for a dance
with his girlfriend. After dancing with Gilbert’s girlfriend, all three of them went outside. 2
There the Deceased began to urinate in full view of Gilbert and Ms. Evans. The Deceased
had a bottle in his hand.
3. While he was urinating, the Accused went up to the Deceased and words were spoken
and a confrontation took place. Gilbert pushed the Accused and told him that he should not
fight with a drunken man. The Accused then walked away and picked up a bottle. He
raised his hand as if to strike the Deceased with the bottle. Gilbert then pushed him away.
The Accused then took off on his bicycle.
4. On Saturday, 17th July 1999 at about 1.15 a.m. the Deceased and one Dio were standing
by the road near Rabbi’s shop drinking. The Accused came and dealt a lash at the back of
the deceased’s neck with a piece of wood. The Deceased fell to the ground. Dio said to the
Accused “you kill the man.” The Accused did not answer but rode off on his bicycle taking
away the piece of wood. The Deceased died at the Dennery Hospital that same morning.
5. The Accused was subsequently arrested and charged for murder. When he was cautioned
and charged, the Accused made a statement on the voluntary statement of accused form.
He said “I will say it in court.”
6. He has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter. He is now before the court
7. Mr. Shawn Innocent for the Accused puts in a plea in mitigation. Essentially, he implores
the Court to consider the inordinate delay in the prosecution of this case and to discount
those years from any sentence that the court may impose.
8. It is not disputed that this Accused has been on remand for 4 ½ years. In fact, prior to the
hearing of the criminal case, the Accused had filed a Constitutional Motion in the Civil court
seeking an Order to quash the indictment of murder. The Motion was withdrawn after the
criminal case was heard.3
9. It is my view that the Court has to adopt a sentencing policy which is aimed at combating
the growing prevalence of these crimes involving teenagers in Saint Lucia which has been
on the rise in recent times while at the same time not denying persons committing these
crimes the application of the basic human rights prescribed by our Constitution.
10. It seems to me that our Court of appeal has accepted a sentence of 15 years to be used
as a benchmark in cases of manslaughter. Of course, the benchmark could be scaled
upwards or downwards depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
11. The mitigating factors in this case are that the Accused is a first offender before the Court
and has pleaded guilty. The Accused is a 24 years old man and the only child of his
mother. He appears remorseful in the dock and his good character remains untarnished.
12. The Accused struck the Deceased on the back of his neck with a piece of wood. He ought
to have foreseen the consequences of his act and he is indeed a lucky man not to be
before the court for murder.
13. In determining the appropriateness of sentence, I am obliged to consider some cases of a
similar nature and the sentences which were imposed by our courts: see Denis Alphonse v
1 and James Jn Baptiste v The Queen2. In both cases, the Accuseds were
found guilty of murder by the respective juries. On appeal, the conviction for murder was
quashed and a conviction of manslaughter entered. A sentence of 15 years imprisonment
was substituted in each case. In the case of Urban Desir v the Queen3
Crim. App. No.1 of 1995 (Saint Lucia) 2 Crim App. No. 10 of 1994 (Saint Lucia)
3 Crim. Case No. 29 of 2001 (unreported) Saint Lucia
, Desir, a former
student of St. Mary’s College was found guilty of manslaughter. He was sentenced to 15
years imprisonment. He appealed the sentence but withdrew his appeal moments before
the appeal was scheduled to be heard..4
14. In the light of the foregoing, it seems that I cannot depart from the authorities quoted
above. The sentence of this court will be that Orlando Emanus is sentenced to fifteen (15)
High Court Judge