A man who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of manslaughter six years ago, today told the Court of Appeal he believed his sentence was excessive.
In fact, Edward Fitzpatrick Bailey told judges Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson and Justices Kaye Goodridge and Margaret Reifer that ten years in prison would have been a suitable punishment.
That was one of the 23 grounds under which Bailey, whose last address is Cane Vale New Road, Christ Church, argued saying that Madam Justice Maureen Crane-Scott had erred in law during his trial and sentencing.
Bailey was 42 years old at the time when he was charged with murdering 24-year-old Ricardo Small, formerly of Kendal Hill, Christ Church, on January 15, 2009.
The facts revealed that Bailey walked up to a route taxi in which Small was a front seat passenger while it was in Gall Hill, Christ Church and fatally shot him, sending persons scampering.
A 12-member jury found him not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter on May 24, 2013 and he was subsequently sentenced by Justice Crane-Scott.
Bailey began his appeal on November 21, 2018 and he reappeared before the three-member panel today in the Appeals Court.
Clad in a white shirt, black tie and black pants, the convicted man argued that Justice Crane-Scott had made several errors during the trial which adversely affected him.
He accused the judge of “entering into the arena” by certain comments and rulings and that she also obstructed him during his cross-examination. According to him, the judge had also erred in law by deflecting questions and assisting the Crown’s witnesses.
He said Justice Crane-Scott had failed to exercise her discretion by withdrawing the case from the jury after hearing evidence which was prejudicial to him.
Additionally, Bailey told the Court of Appeal that the trial judge had failed to adequately put his defence to the jury; had failed to analyze the evidence of a witness and that she had failed to direct the jury in relation to oral statements.
He also pointed out that Justice Crane-Scott incorrectly dismissed his no-case submission, despite glaring inconsistencies in the Crown’s case. Bailey maintained that the evidence given by the Crown’s two key witnesses had not been reliable saying the prosecutor’s case collapsed because of “indescrepencies” in the evidence.
“It is not that I did not commit an offence, but not the offence for which I was convicted,” Bailey said.
As it related to his sentencing, Bailey charged that the trial judge had not taken all of the mitigating factors into consideration before handing down her ruling.
He said she has “missed” several of those factors including the fact he had acted in self defense, that the now deceased man had a propensity for violence and that he Bailey, had received an “excellent” probation report.
Bailey said the trial judge had ruled that a starting point of between 18 to 22 years was adequate.
“The sentence is excessive…I believe that the judge should have started with at least ten years,” he said.
However, he was quickly reminded by Justice Goodridge and Sir Marston that a firearm had been used and that he had shot the deceased in a crowded public service vehicle in broad daylight, which they said were notable aggravating factors.
Principal Crown Counsel Alliston Seale will respond to Bailey when the appeal continues on March 13, 2019.