Judgment has been reserved in an appeal made by Fachad Shaquille Cadogan to the 14-year sentence imposed on him for the March 16, 2014 stabbing death of 18-year-old Tristan Barker.
On March 24, 2017 Cadogan, of Well Road, Wavell Avenue, Black Rock, St Michael, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter in the matter.
Nine months later, on December 20, 2017, Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius beginning with a starting point of 16 years, sentenced Cadogan to 14 years in prison after taking into consideration several factors.
However, Cadogan, 22, approached the Court of Appeal today with his attorneys-at-law Michael Lashley, Q.C., Dayna Taylor-Lavine, Kadisha Wickham, Faith Greaves-Agard and Ronshalee Proverbs and appealed the sentence on four grounds.
Led by Lashley, the appellant submitted before a three-member panel of judges that the time imposed by the sentencing judge was excessive because “she failed to place sufficient weight on the defence of provocation and in some instances disregarded the said defence; failed to take into account any element of self defence and treat it as a mitigating factor; having reviewed the guideline decisions for manslaughter and having regards to the aggravating and mitigating circumstances could not have reasonably used a starting point of 16 years as appropriate.
“The sentence was excessive and in all the circumstances of the facts of the case, was more in line with a starting point of eight to ten years, otherwise on the lower end of the scale.”
Principal Crown Counsel Alliston Seale, appearing for the respondents, told Justices Kaye Goodridge, William Chandler and Margaret Reifer, “It was a question of the judge exercising her discretion, examining all the evidence before the . . . court . . . inclusive of things not before this present court, in the final analysis coming to a sentence that she felt was reasonable in all the circumstances.”
He added: “I humbly submit that the sentence was not excessive in any of the circumstances and that the appeal should be dismissed and the sentence affirmed,” submitted Seale, a prosecutor in the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office.
Following the submissions, the court reserved its decision on the appeal.
According to the facts previously outlined to the High Court, Cadogan and Barker were friends who grew up in the same community. However, the friendship became strained when Cadogan began to frequent different “blocks” and get new friends.
The tension between the two escalated over time and on March 16, 2014 it came to a head as Cadogan approached Barker. An argument broke out and Cadogan pulled a knife from his bag and stabbed Barker in the neck. Cadogan then went home, broke the knife, placed it in a plastic bag and threw it over a paling near his home.
On being detained, he allegedly told police that Barker had rushed him with a rock and he was forced to use the knife to defend himself.