For the brutal killing of his former lover, Terry Cassius Seale was today sentenced to 18 years in prison.
The lengthy sentence was handed down by Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius in Supreme Court No. 5 where she described the slaying of Moreta Forde, a former Cable & Wireless employee as, “the most serious” of manslaughter cases.
While the maximum penalty for manslaughter is life in prison, Justice Cornelius said she believed a starting point of 25 years was reasonable and had added a further two years due to the aggravating factors. Seale has already spent 1776 days on remand, which meant he has a further 4794 days remaining on his sentence.
The judge gave Seale a one third discount for his guilty plea, bringing the sentence down to 18 years at HMP Dodds.
Back on June 13, 2016, the 54-year-old Seale, a tractor operator of 27 Groves Crescent, St George, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He had initially been charged with murdering Forde between October 30 and 31, 2014.
Clad in a white shirt and long black pants, Seale sat motionless and stony-faced as the judge delivered the ruling.
The court had heard that Seale worked as a gardener for Forde and the two became intimate. After Hurricane Tomas damaged his home, Forde allowed Seale to reside at her second home at Groves Crescent, St George.
However, Seale believed that Forde had given him a sexually-transmitted disease that could possibly be fatal and he confronted her at her Fisherpond, St Thomas home. During the conversation he became angry, a struggle ensued and he stabbed her in the neck with a fruit knife.
She held on to him, but Seale armed himself with a nearby cutlass and inflicted several injuries about her body. He then started a fire in the house using a lighter and a cigarette before fleeing. The alarm was raised and neighbours were able to pull Forde’s body out of the house before it was engulfed in flames.
Seale was eventually apprehended by police, but not before ingesting a poisonous substance. He was kept at the hospital for two days before eventually being charged.
Before handing down the sentence Justice Cornelius said the aggravating factors far outweighed the mitigating factors. She said the circumstances under which Forde was killed were “brutal and horrifying”, that Seale had used two weapons, and had tried to set the house on fire after killing her.
Additionally she said the act had been committed at the home of the deceased, she had been defenseless and had received extensive injuries to her back, neck and head.
“This was a domestic dispute and offenders cannot escape with impunity,” Justice Cornelius added.
She said that although evidence had shown the convicted man had been provoked, he had been the physical aggressor and the force used was “grossly excessive”. Justice Cornelius said the only mitigating factors were that it was a spontaneous incident; he had been provoked by the passing of a sexually transmitted disease and had pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
In his earlier submission attorney-at-law Tariq Khan, who represented Seale, had asked the court to impose a sentence of six years, while Principal Crown Counsel Anthony Blackman had suggested a starting point of between 16 to 20 years.