He spent 51 months on remand charged with a capital offence and was only granted bail in February of this year. Tuesday, however, Ian Anderson Parke of Belair, St Philip lost his freedom again after admitting to killing Brad Gittens almost five years ago.
Standing in the dock of the No. 5 Supreme Court before Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius Tuesday afternoon, Parke said he was not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter in Gittens’ September 26, 2012 death.
The plea, according to Principal Crown Counsel Anthony Blackman, was accepted on the grounds of provocation on the part of the deceased.
Blackman told Justice Cornelius that the deceased man lived at Union Hall Development in St Philip and Parke lived nearby. On the day he was attacked, Gittens reportedly made a purchase at one of the shops in the area and was walking along the Union Hall Main Road, in the direction of Sam Lord’s Castle, which led to him passing in front of Parke’s residence.
Blackman made reference to the evidence given by eyewitness Jamar Estwick, who said that Parke exited his home and started saying things to Gittens, including: “I tired of you r******e threatening me. I tired of you telling me s***.”
Gittens did not respond and continued on his way, but Parke caught up with him and continued to address him. It was at that time that Gittens called out to Parke’s mother, who was reportedly sitting in her patio, asking her to “call off her son.”
The mother called out to Parke several times. However, he refused to comply, instead cuffing Gittens and then kicking him after he fell. Gittens, according to the prosecutor, did not fight back but tried to get off the ground. However, Parke held him by the shirt and pushed him back to the ground and continued cuffing and kicking him. Gittens asked him to stop but he refused. Parke’s father later intervened and got his son off Gittens and they left.
The eyewitness Estwick went to Gittens’ aid, along with Parke’s mother who tried to treat him for his injuries as they awaited the ambulance. However, Parke then returned with an eight-inch concrete block.
Blackman said Gittens was still on the ground, lying on his back helpless, when Parke raised the block and brought it down on Gittens’ face with “great force” at least two times, shattering the block in the process.
Gittens was subsequently taken to the hospital. Police were called in and Parke was taken into custody.
Gittens arrived at hospital in critical condition, never regained consciousness and later passed away. A postmortem revealed that he died from blunt force trauma to the head and severe brain injuries.
Parke was also taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment for his swollen hands. He was then taken back to the police station where he made several oral statements.
“I attack he, officer,” Parke told police. “I admitting that I do it but I can’t take this man. He kept insulting me all the time calling me a p***y face.”
Blackman said the situation between the two men had deteriorated some 18 months prior, over Gittens’ alleged theft of pumpkins. The produce was owned by another man, who is also now deceased, and Blackman explained that the situation created some bad blood between the two men.
Parke’s attorney Verla Depeiza requested that a pre-sentencing report be ordered into the life of her client who was not previously known to the law courts. She also asked that his bail continue in the meantime.
However, Blackman objected, saying that the situation had changed and Parke was “now a convicted man”.
“Bail revoked,” Justice Cornelius ruled as she ordered the pre-sentencing report and adjourned the case until June 29.