Gang leaders and their soldiers who seek to reign terror on the citizens of Barbados should be willing to surrender the rest of their natural lives to the state.
This was the position of Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale today as he called for one of Lord Evil’s soldiers, who carried out a killing for him, to be sentenced to life in prison.
Ryan Samuels was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of Charley Dume who was gunned down in a bar at the corner of Nelson and Wellington Streets on April 26, 2014. The evidence revealed that Samuels shot Charlie Dume because he disrespected his boss Lord Evil.
“It wasn’t simply a case of manslaughter…this is a case of men forming themselves into a so called gang recognizing an individual Lord Evil or Punchies. I certainly do not equate our Lord and Saviour with such nefarious activity but my understanding is that many recognize the name in this society,” Deputy DPP Seale charged.
The facts indicate that Samuels and his gang went into a bar in Nelson Street and demanded certain things from the proprietor and his shop assistant. There was disagreement over things like a pack of nuts, chips, alcohol.
It was said that Punchies ordered one of his soliders to pay the shop assistant $1000 after the man requested the $2 payment- for an item- which Punchies had picked up. But the shop assistant responded, “I don’t want your $1000. I just need the $2.”
“[There are] too many instances of young men gathering together as gangs on blocks to embark on nefarious activities. If anyone thinks that he can be a leader of a gang and instruct other persons, whether there is a written or unwritten rule that to interfere with the gang leader, one of his so called soldiers will take the life of anybody who dares to oppose him, I hope that they are ready and willing to surrender the rest of their natural lives to the State because that is the type of sentence that the Crown will be asking for,” Seale said calling the matter one that bordered on murder.
He continued: “The Crown will not stand idly by…If he is prepared to act as a soldier in defence of another man, as opposed to in defence of Barbados, then I hope that he is prepared to act like a true soldier and surrender his life for country.”
Seale said the main contention in this matter involved gang violence.
“It must be sent to all and sundry who believe they can assemble themselves in lawless gangs and then embark on certain conduct in Barbados which terrorises this little beautiful island…a court and society will not stand for [it].”
The high-ranking prosecutor said there was nothing wrong with gathering together in groups for wholesome activity as it has been done for years, but he said a different kind of conduct was being displayed.
“This is the type of conduct seen emerging from these young, so-called drug dealers/gang leaders. This conduct must be wrestled to the ground and challenged as early as possible,” he added. Ignoring it, he said, could lead Barbados to a situation similar to Trinidad or some other countries where when someone felt they had been wronged, a hit may be ordered and the instruction would be carried out slavishly.
The probation report, according to Seale, was striking as it showed Samuel saw nothing wrong with his conduct, suggesting he would revert to prior bad practices. He showed no remorse and was adamant, after being convicted by a jury, that he did not do anything, although witnesses identified him as the shooter, Seale added.
Examining the aggravating factors, the Deputy DPP considered the seriousness of the offence that stemmed from gang activity and that the convicted man was a soldier whose boss vicariously used him to kill someone who offended him. He pointed to the use of the firearm and the fact that it was discharged seven times.
Seale told the court all the evidence was about Lord Evil being “wronged” by the proprietor. Evidence suggested the leader was kicking around the proprietor’s hat and demanding drinks from the shop assistant. There was no evidence, other than Samuel’s statement, of Samuels being wronged by the deceased even though Samuels claimed Dume slapped him. The prosecution asked the court to reject the issue of provocation raised by Samuels in his statement.
“If I disrespect you M’Lord, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Chief Justice or Prime Minister, there will be sanctions for me but none of these sanctions will amount to death and these are important people far less these miscreants who call themselves gang leaders in Barbados.
“But yet people pay the ultimate price for disrespecting a miscreant, for disrespecting somebody who has not earned his way to be recognized as anybody significant in Barbados… They have not worked hard, they have very little skill, they have not stayed in school and some that have stayed have made no use of the education, other than to turn to criminal activity. Yet they have some mindless subjects following them and raining terror on the citizens of Barbados.”
Seale said consequences of gang violence not only impacted the deceased’s family but Barbados as a whole.
“If you send the wrong signal to these would-be soldiers and gang leaders that they can reign terror on this Barbados, we are definitely going in the wrong direction. A court must abhor any semblance of gang activity in Barbados and should send the strongest signal to indicate its abhorrence. A person should be sentenced to one which says, to these would-be gang members, that they will be surrendering a significant part, if not the rest of their natural lives to the state.”
Seale also noted that Samuels shot Dume at close range, showing an intention to kill. In addition, he spoke of the bullets which missed Dume and ended up in other areas of the shop, risking the lives of innocent people.
“These thugs walking around with guns when they embark on their criminal enterprise and they decide to shoot, many of them are untrained in the use of firearm, fire indiscriminately and sometimes miss the target they really want to hit and these shots kill all sorts of innocent people.”
Seale found no mitigating factors.
“In order to give Barbadians some sense of confidence in the justice system, we need to send a very strong message to these would-be gangsters that if they are willing to perpetrate the crime, they are also willing to serve the time.”
He said the right and proper case to send this message was through the sentence of Ryan Samuels.
Lawyer Mohia Ma’at had indicated that his client’s attitude towards the offence was that although he was found guilty, he still maintains his innocence. He, however, had full respect for the court despite the jury’s decision and was willing to accept the sentence of the court.
The lawyer told the court that Samuel’s primary and secondary education would indeed be “a springboard” from which he could launch after his period of incarceration comes to an end”.
He added that Samuels had been employed with his brother prior and the job awaited him.
One of the disappointing areas of Samuels being incarcerated, according to Ma’at, was his lack of involvement in the development of the lives of his children.
“He still has a bright future ahead of him and wants to maintain the role of father to raise his children in best way he can.”
Ma’at will respond to the request for a life sentence on November 6 when the matter continues in the No. 2 Supreme Court before Justice Randall Worrell.
5 Replies to “Prosecutor blasts gang activity and suggests stiff penalty for “gang” killing”
Excellent prosecutorial stand by Mr. Seale
I totally agree with every said by the justice. I wonder about these lawyers sometimes, his client still has a bright future ahead of him , well he should not be allowed to see the light of day again ,a message has to be sent to these criminals, I am sure this Lord Evil is on the polices radar, why is he still out there creating havoc is worth taking a serious look at, when your head is bad the whole body is bad, nothing good can come from these gangs ,get the rid of them.
Sir, I can’t agree with you more. What upsets me more than everything else in this world is this. These gang leaders have tremendous talent and using it to do bad. They have so much control over young people, control which some parents don’t have over their own children. And instead of these gang leaders tap into that and use it to better these youngster’s lives they destroy them.
Are any of these gang leaders capable of teaching anything good?
Are any of them good at their hands?
Are any of them good at spelling, writing, mathematics?
Are any of them good at painting, drawing, or anything related to art?
Are any of them capable of fixing cars, bicycles, motorcycle or even a bus?
Are any of them good in the kitchen?
Can any of these gang leaders bake, cook, sew, darn, make a garden bed, plant food, raise chickens, sheep, and rabbits?
Youngsters can even be taught to become self-sufficient though honest means.
All the above should be taught to young impressionable minds.
Not ugliness, or negativeness.
A fiine example for his kids alright to follow if they wish to be like their father.The prosecutor is on the right track in recomending that he spends the rest of his natural life behind bars. I wish there were a more severe alterative available.
A life sentence is required here .
Show the other gang clowns that they don’t own Barbados.