The brother of a young woman, who was killed almost ten years ago, suggests more needs to be done to keep victims’ families updated with related court matters.
However, Leroy Lord was both surprised and appreciative at the news of the 13-year sentence handed down to his sister’s killer.
“You have no idea how much I appreciate this,” Lord conveyed.
The young man, who had played a major part in apprehending Mark Stevenson Owen Headley, said his family members were, for years, querying the progress of the matter but they were never updated. He said he would have only found out about the sentence from a news report.
Lord, however, said that some years ago his family was contacted by a representative of the probation department. The lady, he recalled, said it wasn’t her duty to give updates but apologized for the lack thereof.
Though he didn’t comment directly with regard to the sentence, Lord expressed some disappointment with the time it took for the matter to be concluded.
Patrina Lord, 31, was killed sometime between November 2 and 7, 2011 and her body found in a cart-road off Content, St. Thomas. It was on November 10, 2011 that Headley who was 30 at the time and who lived at Rock Dundo, St. James, was remanded in relation to the matter.
Justice Randall Worrell sentenced Headley today in the No. 2 Supreme Court.
Worrell revisited the facts of the case in which Headley’s lawyer, Safiya Moore described as “a very bad case of manslaughter”.
“This is not a case where Patrina Lord may have been hurt and that you tried to assist her, this is a case where you professed that this is someone you loved but nevertheless it doesn’t appear as if you tried in any meaningful way to help her,” Worrell stated.
The High Court Judge contended that there was no evidence to suggest that Headley tried to seek any medical help for Lord.
“On the contrary you would’ve kept her in the trunk of a vehicle overnight and these are things which the court has to bear in mind. Your actions around the time of the offence, and as Mr Seale said, if it is someone you professed so much love for why would you be driving about with her in the back of the car, picking up her twin sister, driving about [and] then trying at a later stage to dispose of belongings…”
Headley’s actions, according to the Judge, seemed to suggest that “an air of callousness permeated your soul around this time, you did not try to get any help for someone you’re indicating that you loved”.
Though it was said that the court had to bear in mind whether Headley’s actions were carried out in a fit of anger or that there was provocation, the fact remained that nothing was done to assist Lord.
Both the aggravating and mitigating features of the case were analyzed.
“I don’t find anything really mitigating to the offence itself – you never tried to assist, you never tried to help her, your actions after dragging her and putting her in the car, leaving her there overnight – those are things that are aggravating factors to the offence itself,” the Judge said.
In the presentencing report, described by the court as a “good” one, some persons spoke highly of Headley. In addition, he expressed remorse when addressing the court and showed empathy for the victim and her family.