Three young people who were found guilty of manslaughter in connection with the unlawful killing of 11-year-old Ian Elroy Gibson, a Princess Margaret Secondary School student, on September 20, 2009, have apologized for their actions.
The remorse came today as the sentencing phase of the case of convicted manslayers Shaquille Shamal Khalleel Bradshaw and Doniko Javier Alleyne both of Balls Land, Christ Church and Maria Antoinette Goddard of Parish Land C, Balls Land, Christ Church continued in the No. 2 Supreme Court.
The trio, now in their 20s, formally addressed the presiding Justice Randal Worrell.
Alleyne said: “I am sorry and I wish to carry on further with my life.”
When it was Bradshaw’s turn he stated: “I just wanted to say that I am very sorry that anything happened to Ian on that day. I sorry he wasn’t here to continue his life and what’s not . . . I just want to say I am very sorry.”
Goddard meanwhile said: “I just want to say that I am very sorry that Ian died and I would like to be given the opportunity to go on and raise my son.”
During the trial the jury heard that the deceased came into contact with a car driven by Gian Holder on Sunbury Road, St Philip on September 18, 2009 after being in an altercation with the three, who also attended the same school. He died from his injuries two days later at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Attorney-at-law Angella Mitchell-Gittens who represented Alleyne and Goddard described the circumstances surrounding the case as “extremely unfortunate” and “truly tragic”.
In her remarks to the court she said: “It appears that this situation is
so unique in that . . . I would categorise it as children, being children and not realizing that the consequences of their actions can be so tragic and long-lasting.
“This is not a case where somebody had a knife or something like that [and] stabbed somebody . . .It’s children at the bus stop skylarking . . . and before you know it all their lives are altered tragically and permanently,” Mitchell-Gittens told the court.
The defence attorney pointed out that her clients were 12 years old at the time and “not persons who are able to make the best decisions.”
“And the decision that they made that day I am sure will haunt them for the rest of their lives. They were charged, they were convicted, their young lives were altered greatly and even many, many years later they are now adults and it has come back to haunt them.
“The trial has brought it back to the fore not only for them but for Ian Gibson’s family who will have to live with this tragedy for the rest of their lives as well.”
However, she pointed out that her clients were now “industrious members of society” and despite the charge and subsequent conviction had never found themselves before the law courts on any other charges even though they had been on bail for over 10 years.
“The matter for which my clients are convicted is a serious offence that cannot be downplayed but I would ask the court to consider the fact that at the time of the commission of the offence they were children, very young children, 12 years old and incapable of making proper decisions I would say.
“The circumstances of this matter are also very important. . . . Children skylarking at a bus stop would never have dreamt that at the end of the day this would have resulted in such horrific consequences,” the lawyer submitted.
She further added that they had put their lives on the right path, were gainfully employed and had sought to become productive members of society.
“I would ask that they be given the opportunity to continue given their ages and given the fact that they are a low risk of reoffending and the fact that they have not offended in the last ten years [as well as] the fact of their very tender ages at the time of the commission of this offence.
“I would ask that the court allow them to continue on the path that they are on . . .”
The matter will continue on Monday June 8, when attorney-at-law Arthur Holder will present a character witness on behalf of his client Bradshaw. It is expected that he will also make his sentencing submission before Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Alliston Seale responds.