A man will serve 16 years in prison for killing his father

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A YOUNG MAN who hit his father in the head several times with a hoe, killing him, then dragged and buried his body in a field, will spend a total of 16 years in prison.

During Keron Samuel’s sentencing on Friday September 23, High Court Judge Brian Cottle recorded the series of events leading up to the murder which shocked the people of Evesham.

It was October 1, 2019, when the wife of George “Coban” Benjamin Samuel, 59, went looking for her husband, but couldn’t find him. She called her husband’s cell phone, but it rang inside a shopping cart in the house.

However, she noticed a few bloodstains on the ground and discovered “soaked up dirt near the root of a shrub in the garden”.

She called the police. While waiting for them to arrive, she asked their son, Keron, when he had last seen his father. He told her that he thought he had seen her the day before.

The police arrived and they were taken to the disturbed ground area. It was searched and George’s body was found. He was naked from the waist down.

Investigations have been launched.

A neighbor informed the police of an altercation he had witnessed a few days earlier. He explained that he heard Keron threaten to kill his father and saw him attempt to strike him with a cutlass. However, the blow did not land as the father was able to flee.

Keron was questioned by the police and he confessed that there had been a quarrel between him and his father on the evening of September 29, 2019.

During the feud, he hit his father in the head three times with a hoe, killing him. Keron told them that he dragged his father’s body to a nearby field and buried it in a shallow grave.

He hid the grave with cut leaves and shrubs.

The next morning he swept the path where he had dragged the body and cleaned the interior of the house where the murder had taken place.

A post-mortem examination revealed that George Benjamin Samuel died of blunt force trauma to the head and face. There were multiple skull fractures and there was extrusion of brain tissue.

“This is an unfortunate and tragic circumstance, as this is a death caused by a son who killed his father,” defense barrister Shirlan Barnwell told the High Court on Wednesday September 21, two days before Keron was sentenced for the murder offence.

The lawyer had already prepared written submissions for the judge.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Tammika DaSilva-McKenzie had also filed sentencing submissions on behalf of the Crown.

In addition, a social investigation report had been prepared by the social welfare department, as is usually done before sentencing.

Barnwell, in his mitigation, revealed that the social inquiry report “gives indications that his family life was somewhat troubled or dysfunctional”.

“…The court must be able to have some understanding or at least some consideration as to the social influences that sometimes lead to certain incomprehensible acts that are committed by young people,” commented the lawyer.

Keron has two older siblings, and his relationship with them is said to be “very strained”.

He apparently struggled to maintain a “healthy bond” with his brother, who was diagnosed with a mental illness.

The relationship between his parents was described in the document as difficult and traumatic, “insofar as Mr. Samuel

was forced to leave his home as a teenager because he was described as difficult and disrespectful.

Keron told the welfare worker ‘he suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse from his father’.

The young man finished high school without passing any of his subjects. He had been suspended many times for getting into fights while at the facility.

“It’s not a normal childhood,” the attorney said. With his path to higher education at an impasse, teenager Samuel is said to have held several jobs, including farming, masonry and as a gardener “to make ends meet”.

Some members of the community know him as a “simple youth who was not prone to violence” and a respectable person.

“Overall, he is considered a respectable young man, although close family members have reported that there was a degree of conflict between Keron and his father, which prompted the act of killing his father and which they also found very shocking,” Barnwell said.

Within two months of his incarceration, Keron was seen at the Mental Health and Rehabilitation Center and found to be suffering from major depressive disorder.

“I don’t think it’s something you develop overnight,” the lawyer observed.

Additionally, two and a half years later, in a prepared psychiatric report, he was diagnosed with bipolar two disorder.

“It’s a mental disorder that causes extreme mood swings, includes emotional highs called mania, or hypermania, and lows – which we normally talk about as depression,” Barnwell pointed out.

“It’s something that I think the court should consider,” she postulated, and in the context of his mother saying in her interview that they had considered seeking help for him a few years ago. before, because they thought something was wrong with him. .

“It’s a struggle because without having that expert report at the time, it’s just an inference or for the court’s scrutiny, for the court’s compassion,” she added.

Keron voluntarily signed up for counseling after being jailed shortly after the offense.

More information about Keron’s sexual abuse allegations came to light at sentencing.

The young man apparently claims that it started when he was 16 and ended when he was 18, which is the time he left to go live with other relatives.

He told the social worker he couldn’t bring himself to tell his mother because he felt she wasn’t paying enough attention to him.

None of his older siblings have confirmed any of this. Keron further stated that the parents he stayed with at age 18 did not treat him well, so he begged to go home. The night he killed his father, he maintained that his father had started physically assaulting him, he took the hoe he had under the bed and delivered the killing blows.

When considering the sentence, the judge decided to start at 30 years in prison, as he considered the offense serious enough to fall within the 20-40 year range set out in the sentencing guidelines. of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC).

“I come to the starting point for the following reasons: this prisoner had the hoe on the premises to use as a weapon. I note that it is not usual for people to store gardening tools under a bed. He used that hoe to kill his father. At the time of the offence, he was an adult.

Justice Cottle then considered the aggravating and mitigating characteristics of the crime and the offender. Some of the aggravating factors are: the murder took place in the home of the deceased, a weapon was used and the body was concealed.

On the other hand, he was 20 at the time.

“There is every hope in my view for his eventual rehabilitation,” Cottle said.

Keron had pleaded guilty, allowing his family to avoid the ordeal of a trial; he has a history of abuse suffered at the hands of his father; he

suffered from an undiagnosed mental health condition and “since his incarceration he has been participating in treatment for his mental condition and I view this as another expression of his sincere remorse”.

He also had no previous convictions.

The mitigating circumstances outweighed the aggravating circumstances on the scale of justice, and six years were lifted from the sentence.

The court ended up with a sentence of 24 years, which was further reduced by a third when the young man admitted his guilt.

He was sentenced to 16 years in prison. He has already served two years, 11 months and 21 days.

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