The Crown has asked the High Court to impose a starting sentence of 30 years in prison on the young men who committed the “heinous” home invasion in February last year that left a Canadian visitor paralyzed and his family struggling to pick up the pieces.
“This heinous crime must be tolerated with abhorrence,” Crown Counsel Kevin Forde stated, pointing to the devastating impact of the crime committed by Travis Orin Campbell, of no fixed place of abode and his accomplice Alexander Patrick Alleyne, of Ealing Grove Gardens, Christ Church.
The two previously took responsibility for aggravated burglary, use of an illegal firearm and wounding with intent.
The visitor, 65-year-old Kenneth Elliot was on vacation here with his partner Linda Brooks, his brother Robert and sister-in-law Mary, when he was shot in the upper body after two masked men, armed with a gun and a cutlass, stormed the Christ Church home where they were staying on February 22, 2020.
“The Barbados economy is heavily reliant on the tourist industry . . . this was not only an offence on the victims involved, but against the bread basket and hope of our country and indirectly affects us all who live here,” Forde said as he pointed out that the maximum sentence for aggravated burglary and wounding with intent was life in prison, while firearm use was 15 years.
The Crown Counsel also asked that the court take into consideration “the abhorrence” to which the public regarded those who commit these types of offences, “when the victim suffers injury at the hands of the assailants . . . within their dwelling”.
He pointed to the aggravating factors of the offence which he said included the seriousness of the offences and the prevalence of such in society and the fact that the men were armed and masked.
“The gun was used to shoot the victim and this gun was never recovered and remains on the streets to be used again. This crime was against tourists vacationing in Barbados . . . an unprovoked attack on the victims and the seriousness of the injuries suffered by Kenneth Elliot,” he pointed out.
“The law makes provisions for an accused man to get a discount off when he pleads guilty but in Mr Elliot’s case he is not getting any discounts,” he said adding that there were no mitigating factors of the offence.
However going in their favour was the fact that they pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity while aggravating were the fact that Campbell had one prior conviction of a similar nature and was considered at a high risk of re-offending.
Alleyne meanwhile, a first time offender, was assessed at being at a medium risk of re-offending.
“I urge the court to consider that violent and serious crimes involving masked men who are often armed with firearms are escalating in this country. Society has continued to show repugnance for these crimes. It is therefore incumbent upon the court to play its role in ensuring that not only the citizens of Barbados but visitors are protected from criminals,” Forde added as he submitted a starting sentence for each convict of 30 years for the aggravated burglary and 15 years each for the illegal gun.
He further stated that the law entitles the men to be credited with a one-third discount for guilty pleas and the time they had spent on remand to be deducted.
However, defence attorney Ryan Moseley asked for a starting sentence of “no more” than 20 years in prison for his clients.
“This was an absolutely regrettable and awful thing that happened to Mr Elliot and his family. Dealing with this matter has come with great personal and emotional thoughts to myself, to the accused men and their families,” he said as he urged the court to impose the sentences concurrently.
“I do believe that there is genuine remorse from both men,” he added and further urged Madam Justice Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell to take a look at the video footage of the crime before making her decision on sentencing.