It took 72-year-old Garnett Levere Brome two attempts today to address the No. 2 Supreme Court in his manslaughter case.
Brome, a fisherman of Six Men’s, St Peter pleaded guilty in July this year to killing Caroline Roberta Forde.
The 49-year-old fish vendor died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital after she was brutally stabbed on August 19, 2013.
Dressed in a beige short-sleeved shirt and dark brown slacks, Brome, who walks with an aid, began addressing the court presided over by Madam Justice Michelle Weekes: “I am sorry to . . .”
But he was stopped by the judge as he began to cry and became incoherent.
On the second attempt, after wiping his face with a washcloth, he said: “I am very sorry to this court and to the family of Caroline Forde . . . about what took place . . . about the life that lost . . . [that] I had love. But things happen.”
Brome went on to tell the judge, as several members of Forde’s family listened from the upstairs section of the courtroom, that he was “a very sick man”.
“I suffer with a number of illnesses [that] at any given moment can cause my death,” he said as he sniffled, adding that he was on medication for a heart problem.
Asking the court for leniency, Brome added: “Give me the opportunity to get back out and help myself with my frailness, because in the institution we do not get the proper attention and medication that I have to use to help increase my health.”
His pleas followed mitigation by his attorney, Verla Depeiza, last Friday. She had pleaded for the judge to impose a less than 10-year sentence on her client.
But today, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Donna Babb-Agard, QC reiterated the call for the maximum sentence of life, starting at the 30-year mark.
The prosecutor noted that in the cases presented by Depeiza in her mitigation last week, all the convicted men got a jail term of 20 years or more and the cases never “contemplated . . . less than 10 years”.
“We submit, as I did before, that Mr Brome is a danger to society, especially to women,” Babb-Agard maintained.
Depeiza countered that Brome’s age and “very poor health” were the “distinction” with regards to the other cases which she urged the court to consider when determining sentence.
Justice Weekes then adjourned the matter with no set date for sentencing.