Outcry over 'light' sentence for child killer - DPP says she would have asked for longer sentence
Paula Llewellyn, the nation's chief prosecutor, revealed yesterday that her office would have recommended a longer sentence for the Manchester woman who was handed a four-year prison term after she pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the gruesome killing of her 11-year-old brother.
Llewellyn's disclosure comes amid widespread public backlash against the 48-month sentence imposed on Denisha Gregory by Justice Leighton Pusey in 2014 following her guilty plea in the horrific slaying of her sibling, Tareek Gregory, in Harmons district, Manchester, in 2011.
Children's Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison described the circumstances surrounding Tareek's death as disturbing and said she understood the concerns raised by members of the public on several radio call-in programmes yesterday.
However, Gordon Harrison acknowledged that she did not have "all the facts to make a comment that would be fair and accurate".
"I can appreciate that some persons may say it [sentence] looks light, and they may be motivated to say, 'I can do this and get away with it', but I can't say whether this particular sentence, in and of itself, was inappropriate because I don't have all the details," she told The Gleaner.
Llewellyn, who is the director of public prosecutions (DPP), said she understands the backlash but pointed out that in the case of an informal plea at common-law, prosecutors do not have the right to make recommendations during sentencing.
"Had we had that right, perhaps our recommendation, in fact, I'm almost sure that our recommendation would have been different from what the judge came down with," she declared.
"It would have been more. Definitely, it would have been more," Llewellyn insisted, suggesting that Gregory's sentence could have been "two or three" years longer.
TO BE SENTENCED TODAY
Gregory's boyfriend, Kayode Garwood, was convicted in the Manchester Circuit Court on Tuesday for killing the 11-year-old boy, and a caution statement he gave police investigators helped fuel the backlash from members of the public.
Garwood is scheduled to be sentenced today.
In the caution statement, Garwood gave a chilling confession of how he twice cut Tareek's throat, beat him with a bat, and stabbed him twice in the side. He also revealed that Gregory assisted him, first by sending her brother into the room where he was hiding then by using her hand to cover his mouth as he screamed.
Garwood recounted that at one point, he and Denisha went to another room in the house but could still hear the boy as he tried to breathe. "She come roun deh wid one black scandal bag and tell mi fi put it ova him head, 'him wi dead fasta'," he told detectives.
Gregory has since served her sentence and has been released from custody.