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Oaklands killer thought he could 'get away with it'

Published:Tuesday | October 11, 2016 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett

Perdie Newman sat in the Home Circuit Court yesterday and watched as a judge handed her daughter's killer, businessman Steven Causwell, a life sentence.

Afterwards, she unloaded on the 40-year-old father of two daughters, describing him as arrogant, while fuming at her long wait for justice.

"He was so cocky in the beginning, he was sure that he was going to get away with it," Newsman told reporters outside court.

Presiding judge, Justice Carol Lawrence-Beswick, directed that Causwell be subjected to psychological and psychiatric evaluation in prison and that he must serve 20 years before being eligible for parole.

Dressed in a yellow shirt and dark pants, Causwell showed no emotion as the sentence was announced and was quickly handcuffed and led from the courtroom.

For Newman, who was still seething eight years after her daughter, Nadia Mitchell's brutal death, that was not enough. "Life [with] 60 years before [parole], which means that he would rot in jail; Congo worm tek him, and I'm not being nice with my words. He deserves everything that he gets," she continued.

"I am angry because the stupid boy didn't have to do it. All he had to do was walk away," added Newman.




Mitchell's teenage daughter, Imani Prendergast, was happy with the sentence, even as she offered words of sympathy for Causwell's daughters.

"It could have been more, but I'm happy that it's life, so there is no running away from that. He got what he deserved and he is paying for what he has done," she told The Gleaner.

"I have sympathy for his daughter, Miya, because we were friends ... . We grew up together for a bit. There was no hate between she and I, [so] I have sympathy for her because she lost her father," said Prendergast.

Mitchell's body was found in the courtyard at the gated Oaklands apartment complex in St Andrew in July 2008. According to prosecutors Paula Llewellyn and Yanique Gardener Brown, the body had 27 injuries, 19 of which were inflicted before she died.

Lawrence-Beswick, in handing down sentence, said she took into consideration the circumstances of the case.

"The jury was instructed to consider the evidence and they have found you guilty. I must respect that verdict," the judge noted.

"The victim was a lady with a loving family. They have been deprived of her forever," she added.

Newman and Mitchell's sister, Shana Forbes, had high praises for Llewellyn and Gardener Brown, even as they criticised the judicial process over the "botched" police investigation and the long delay in starting the trial.

Forbes said her family's experience should serve as motivation for other families that are less fortunate. "For other less-fortunate families out there facing the same situation, like the Mais family, I say, fight on," she told reporters. (She was referring to the case of schoolboy Khajeel Mais, who was shot and killed on July 1, 2011. The trial of Patrick Powell is yet to start.)

"Stand up, dress up and show up for every court date. Mek dem know seh you poor, but you know you rights and you believe in the worth of your child or your family member when they die," said Forbes.