The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of reducing a sentence imposed Kevin Waterman for the unlawful killing of his girlfriend, Eleanor Jones. Waterman, an ex – policeman had appealed the sentence and manslaughter conviction.
In 2013, he was sentenced to 31 years’ imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to killing Jones on July 7, 2007, at her Silvertown, Linden home.
Jones, also a police rank, was attached to the Mackenzie Police Station. The two were involved in a relationship. Waterman had gone to her home on the day of her death and an argument developed between them after he accused her of infidelity.
Waterman then pulled out a firearm from his waist, and Jones initially struggled with him before trying to run away.
Waterman was charged for murder but pleaded to the lesser count when the matter came up for hearing before Justice Navindra Singh in January 2013. He was sentenced to 31 years.
Obviously disappointed by the decision of the Court, Waterman moved to have the sentence overturned. On Wednesday, the Appellate Court broke down the 31 years sentence by seven years. The sentence was therefore reduced to 24 years.
In 2013, Waterman was sentenced to 31 years in prison after a probation report on the accused indicated that he was madly in love with the deceased, and murdered her in a passionate rage.
Back then Justice Singh, told Waterman that love, and his disapproval of the lifestyle of the now dead woman, would never justify the crime of murder.
The judge advised that if he couldn’t deal with it, he should have left. The Judge expressed disappointment at the probation which focused on the alleged promiscuous lifestyle led by the deceased.
Following the guilty plea, a probation report was ordered upon request of the accused lawyer, George Thomas. It said that the accused had expressed remorse for his actions. He admitted to the probation officer that indeed he had the gun on the night in question, but that it was an accident when it went off. Most important, the officer had said that the accused was suicidal.
Thomas expanded on some of the points the officer made but lingered on the remorsefulness of his client. He said that Waterman was the victim of dire poverty and lack of love. He said the accused poured out his heart to the deceased and he was met with promiscuity.
His client, he said, did not waste the court’s time and concluded his submission with a request for minimum sentencing. State prosecutor Konyo Thompson however advocated for maximum punishment. Their general notion was that no matter the lifestyle of the deceased, the issue at hand was murder and no factor could justify the crime.
Before handing down his sentence, the court said that some of the factors leading to sentencing were that Waterman was a policeman at the time, his victim was a police officer and that an illegal gun was used, which showed pre-meditation. Some of the mitigating factors were that the accused was 21-years at the time, that he was remorseful and the conditions under which he was raised should be considered.
The accused was advised by the court that he will eventually be released; that he will get out of jail, but his time afterward should be used meaningfully as he would still have a chance to make a significant contribution to society.
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