Stating she must impose a sentence harsh enough to deter people from committing crimes against tourists, a High Court judge sentenced two men to 31 years in prison for a ‘horrible’ home invasion in 2020 that changed the life of Canadian visitor Kenneth Elliot.
But Travis Orin Campbell and Alexander Patrick Alleyne will only spend another 18 years, 212 days behind bars, after several deductions, including the time they spent in pretrial detention and the reduction of a third for their first guilty pleas. .
“Any punishment . . . must be such that it strongly deters people from contemplating and participating in such a crime. As a court, the sentences we impose must be so severe that they deter potential perpetrators from targeting our locals and our foreign tourists,” Judge Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell said Friday as she handed down sentences against Campbell, of no fixed place of residence and Alleyne, of Ealing Grove Gardens, Christ Church, on Friday .
Elliot and his partner Linda Brooks, brother Robert and sister-in-law Mary, all retired, were vacationing at a Christ Church residence when the two masked men stormed the property, armed with a gun and of a cutlass, February 22, 2020.
During the burglary, Campbell shot Elliot in the upper body. The Canadian is now a paraplegic in a wheelchair and needs around-the-clock help from his family and medical professionals.
The crime also had a mental and financial impact on his family.
“This case is one of those awful situations where the court must strike a balance to find justice for everyone involved in this case – the plaintiffs, the convicts and Barbadian society.
“The Complainant, his wife, brother and sister-in-law came to Barbados on vacation. While enjoying what they thought was the start of a relaxing, enjoyable and fun vacation, they had visited them in one of the most horrifying and upsetting situations anyone could encounter except death, by the actions of the two now convicted men. “, said Justice Smith-Bovell while delivering Supreme Court decision No. 4 before the eyes of the family of the convicts.
The judge explained that Barbados is marketed as an idyllic tourist destination and advertised as a generally safe place where crime against tourists is relatively low.
Tourism, she pointed out, was the mainstay of Barbados’ economy, with the main source markets for the island being the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
Citing figures from the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, she said that in 2019 Barbados welcomed some 85,868 Canadian visitors who spent more than $155 million. In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country welcomed around 180,668 non-stay visitors, 28,244 including Canadians.
According to Justice Smith-Bovell, these figures show that Canadian tourists have contributed quite significantly to the island’s economy.
“Therefore, any action by the perpetrators that will have a negative impact on our tourism market, [and] affect the . . . The economy of Barbados as a whole. . . should be dealt with severely to deter potential offenders. . .
“This does not mean that tourism-related crime is more important than crime [committed against locals] but it must be taken into account that tourist crime has a significant economic impact on Barbados,” she said.
The judge said the crimes of aggravated burglary and intentional injury committed by Campbell and Alleyne required an objective starting point of 30 years in prison while the use of firearms deserved the maximum sentence of 15 years.
The starting sentences were increased by three years, however, when the court considered the aggravating circumstances of the crime, including that the assault was premeditated and deliberate; the two men made a conscious decision to be armed with a gun and a cutlass; the use of force when one of the victims was shot; the fact that the weapon was never found; the impact on the Elliot family and “the fact that Kenneth Elliott has indicated that he considers his present condition to be worse than death”.
This period was later reduced by two years after taking into account the mitigating circumstances of young offenders, bringing the sentence to 31 years.
The one-third reduction was then credited for their guilty pleas and the 761 days spent in pretrial detention were deducted, leaving the convicts with 6,782 days or 18, 212 days on each count of aggravated burglary and intentional bodily harm. For using a firearm, they were sentenced to 2,889 days or seven years 334 days. All sentences will be executed simultaneously.
“Both convicts should enroll in any educational skills or vocational programs available to enable them to learn a skill that could help them rehabilitate and their ability to find employment at the end of their sentence,” added the judge.