Defence attorney Marlon Gordon today argued that the two “indeterminate” concurrent life sentences handed down on manslayer Charles Matthew O’Brien Frederick almost six years ago were “wrong”.
Gordon, in an appeal before Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson and Justices of Appeal Kaye Goodridge and Andrew Burgess, was adamant that the trial judge had a duty to set a “minimum term of years” on the life sentences, which were handed down on July 30, 2012.
The now 42-year-old Frederick had been charged with the August 2, 2011 murders of Gerhard Stock and Arthur Chadderton but had pleaded guilty to lesser counts of manslaughter.
However, addressing the appeals court, which is sitting temporarily at Cane Garden, St Thomas, his attorney argued that the judge’s failure to put “tariff terms” on the sentences was “likely to breach [Frederick’s]
rights under Section 15 of the Constitution”.
Gordon however admitted that there were circumstances when life sentences were applicable, but said this was not so in his client’s case as he had entered an early guilty plea, had not gone to trial and had expressed remorse for his actions.
However, Acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Blackman was adamant that the appeal should be dismissed and the life sentences affirmed.
Blackman further contended that the sentencing judge had satisfied all the required criteria in arriving at the ruling, which he said were “correctly and lawfully” applied.
The acting deputy DPP also warned that there must be very good reason for the court to overturn the decision which was based on “discretion”.
“The appellant has failed to demonstrate that that sentence was wrong in principle, manifestly excessive [and] disproportionate,” he stressed.
Judgment was reserved in the case following almost three hours of submissions.