Fabian Rommel Vaughn will be detained for killing an elderly man five years ago; the only questions are, where and for how long?
Some time ago, Vaughn, from Wavell Avenue, Black Rock, St Michael, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.
When Vaughn appeared before Justice Randall Worrell in the No. 5 High Court earlier today, the judge explained to him that the only sentence he could receive for “diminished responsibility” was to be detained at either HMP Dodds or the Psychiatric Hospital, at the Court’s pleasure.
Vaughn randomly attacked Parris, an elderly man, on the morning of December 8, 2010, stabbing him 29 times while he was on his way to Brighton Beach. Another elderly man, who usually attends the beach at that time, stumbled upon Parris’ body through a track.
Attorney-at-law Angella Mitchell-Gittens, who is acting on behalf of Vaughn, urged the court to detain him at the Psychiatric Hospital since he would benefit more from the patient/doctor interaction which would take place there. She stressed that Vaughn’s schizophrenia could be controlled and addressed by trained personnel at the hospital more adequately than at the prison.
She added that Vaughn’s crime had been “as a direct result of his mental challenges” and she therefore submitted that he be sentenced to the Psychiatric Hospital for four years before returning to court for his condition to be reviewed.
Principal Crown Counsel Elwood Watts said that Vaughn’s condition had been borne out in his presentencing and psychological reports and if the court was satisfied that his schizophrenia had precipitated the killing, then the court should turn its attention to seeing whether the perpetrator could be rehabilitated.
He added that it was the judge’s discretion to determine “whether justice has been served and whether he [Vaughn] can be reintegrated into society” once the four-year reviews were done.
Those reviews will be based on reports from the Psychiatric Hospital.
Justice Worrell expressed concern about whether the hospital could adequately house Vaughn since, according to a 2013 report, he had allegedly absconded from that institution.
“I don’t think we want what happened in the past to repeat itself,” the judge remarked.
Worrell also suggested if Vaughn’s current treatment continues to keep him in a stable condition, then it could be administered to him every two weeks when the Prison Psychiatric Clinic is held at Dodds.
When Vaughn’s matter comes up again on March 11, consultant psychiatrist Dr Beresford Connell, who diagnosed Vaughn as schizophrenic, will offer his advice as to the security of the hospital and whether Vaughn could be adequately treated at HMP Dodds if he was detained there.