The apologies from two young, gun-toting burglars “changes nothing” in the lives of paraplegic Kenneth Elliot and his family.
“Our lives are ruined,” declared Elliot’s partner Linda Brooks on Thursday, after Travis Orin Campbell, of no fixed place of abode, and his accomplice Alexander Patrick Alleyne, of Ealing Grove Gardens, Christ Church, apologized during a virtual sitting for the “damage” they had done to Elliot and his family.
The 20-year-olds are responsible for the events that resulted in Elliot being paralysed from the waist down.
The 65-year-old Canadian visitor along with Brooks, his brother Robert and sister-in-law Mary were vacationing at a Christ Church residence when two masked men, later identified as Campbell and Alleyne, stormed the property, armed with a firearm and cutlass, on February 22, 2020.
During the aggravated burglary, Elliot was shot by Campbell in the upper body. He spent some 97 seven days in various hospitals being treated and is now wheelchair-bound and needs round-the-clock assistance from family and health professionals. Apart from the health issues, the family also described the financial toll that the situation has taken on them.
On Monday, Campbell spoke from the “heart” when he appeared before Madam Justice Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell and apologized for his actions. On Thursday, both young men, who had previously asked to apologize to the victims, returned to the No. 4 Supreme
Court to address Elliot and his family who listened from their home in Canada via Zoom.
Campbell said: “I would like to start by apologizing to Mr Elliot and his family for the damage I have caused by my selfish and unwarranted action. I am truly sorry and I regret my action. . . . When I last heard about your condition, I was in complete shock and anguished about the devastation I caused . . . and I feel truly remorseful and guilty . . . .”
He added that since his incarceration he has contemplated his actions in his quiet moments.
“Thinking about how foolish I was, how selfish, how quick money has caused someone so much pain and hurt . . . . If you can find it within your heart, I would like for you to please forgive me . . . . I was misguided and I was immature.
“Yes, I understand that I have to pay for my actions and I intend to, but I would also like to ask for help with my rehabilitation. I am sincerely sorry for my actions,” Campbell added.
Alleyne, meanwhile, read from the same speech he gave three days ago.
“Kenneth Elliott, I want to openly say that I am sorry. I am sorry for the pain and expenses that my action put you .
. . and your family through. I wish I can go back in time and stop myself from making such a selfish and stupid mistake.
I pray every day that you will be healed by the touch of the Almighty Father. I pray that in time you will . . . forgive me for my actions . . . . My mistake was totally out of character. I do not know what drove me to make such a decision,” he said.
“I want to say I am sincerely sorry for what I have put you through. I know you look at me as a thug and no more, but I want to tell you that I am not. I have made some bad decisions in my life and must live with the consequences of my actions.
“I am so sorry that you all have to live with them also.
Seeing how my actions have affected your everyday life, seeing what you all had and still have to go through has shown me the extent of my actions.”
However, responding to the men’s apologies, Brooks said: “It doesn’t change anything. Our lives are ruined.”
Elliot’s brother, Robert further questioned “if it wasn’t their intent to hurt anybody, why did they bring weapons?”
That question was not answered.
Nigel Jules, a certified life coach who counsels young men, spoke on Alleyne’s behalf, telling the court that the convict had successfully participated in one of his mentorship programmes.
However, he said he believed that Alleyne had to pay for his actions.
“I believe the judicial system will be fair to him. The law has to do its due diligence . . . [but] knowing the individual I know, he is regretting his actions.”
Asked by Justice Smith-Bovell whether he believed that Alleyne was capable of rehabilitation, Jules replied in the affirmative.
However, after hearing what Jules had to say, Brooks stated: “Obviously his programme didn’t work . . . . He [Alleyne] is the one who pointed the house out, that it was with tourists . . . planned it.”
Elliot continued from where his partner left off, saying: “From my understanding, he was the organiser of it and Campbell carried out the actions, but it is him who organized . . . it.”
Alleyne and Campbell – who pleaded guilty to trespassing in Robert’s residence with intent to steal while armed with the weapons, using a firearm when they did not have a licence to do so, as well as unlawfully and maliciously wounding Kenneth with intent to cause him serious bodily harm or to maim, disfigure or to disable him – will be sentenced on November 5.
The two are represented by attorney-at-law Ryan Moseley while Crown Counsel Kevin Forde is the prosecutor.
The Crown has asked the court to impose a starting sentence of 30 years in prison on each of the young men who committed the “heinous” home invasion, and a 15-year concurrent sentence for the firearm charge.
The defence, meanwhile, has asked for a starting sentence of no more than 20 years in prison for each of the convicts.