Attorneys on both sides of a gun case have agreed that the High Court was dealing with an “exceptional case” when it came to convict Kendol Kenor Wilson.
The prosecution and defence revealed that a psychological report requested by the court in preparation for sentencing showed the St Vincent-born, 23-year-old man who lived at Sanford, St Philip had the mental capacity of a 13-year-old child or below.
Wilson had previously pleaded guilty in the No. 5 Supreme Court to possession of a .22 calibre revolver on January 24, 2019.
“If you can have sympathy, this is my first offence. I promise that it will never happen again. I asking for mercy on me,” Wilson said moments after his stepfather gave evidence in the No. 5 Supreme Court as a character witness.
The stepfather told the judge that he had been in Wilson’s life since he was ten years old.
He explained that he realised from the onset Wilson was “very slow” and acts “very childish” over the last few years. “Very slow, never passed in his school and had to repeat several classes in his junior years in primary school,” he told the court.
The stepfather explained that Kenny, as he was more affectionately known by his family, sat the Common Entrance Examination at the age of 15 and was “very friendly and helpful kid”. However, he admitted the family had never gotten help for Wilson.
Under questioning by Wilson’s attorney-at-law Kyle Walkes, the stepfather stated that he was not surprised that the doctor’s report showed his stepson had the mental capacity of someone no older than 13.
He told the court he believed a fitting punishment for Wilson would be to deport him from Barbados, his second home.
Mitigating on his client’s behalf, Walkes urged Justice Beckles to approach his client’s sentencing process with “an exceeding open mind”.
The lawyer revealed that having found the unloaded firearm Wilson took it to the farm where he worked. Coworkers took it away, beat him and tied him to a pole before calling the police, the attorney said referring to the facts.
“This is a matter where very special circumstances and very compelling circumstances exist . . . further incarceration in this matter is unnecessary,” said Walkes who revealed that his client had been on remand for the past 14 months.
He said other factors to be considered included that the gun was unloaded; no harm came to any other person, only the accused; the weapon was not used and Wilson’s cooperation with police. Walkes suggested that a starting point of five years in prison should suffice under the circumstances but that time should be adjusted downwards to three years given Wilson’s situation. He said the Government did not need the additional financial burden of incarcerating his client further.
“This is a person who suffers severely from mental developmental issues . . . give him time served and deport him. This is not a man that Barbados has to contend with again, this is not a man that Barbados has to take care of,” Walkes said adding: “That is something that I want this court to seriously take into consideration in this sentencing process.”
The prosecution agreed with “a lot” of Walkes’ arguments, but believed the starting point should begin at seven or eight years. But Delaney went on to say that, that sentence should decrease by “at least half” when the mitigating and aggravating factors are considered particularly on his mental developmental issues.
“This is an exceptional case. It is not often that we are faced with an accused person that has been assessed as being in essence . . . a child and in my submission the starting point should be significantly reduced to take that into account,” she said adding that the one-third credit should also be given for his guilty plea.
“In the circumstances I do concur with the end result of my learned friend given the accused person we find ourselves faced with and his personal situation,” the principal crown counsel added.
Wilson will know his fate on April 17.