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Privy Council orders local court to re-sentence murder convict

Published:Wednesday | February 17, 2016 | 2:13 AM

Jamaica's highest court, the Privy Council, has directed that 48-year-old murder convict Richard Brown be re-sentenced because it was not clear whether the judge took into account the time he spent in custody while he was deemed unfit to plead.

Brown's trial for a 1998 murder was delayed because psychiatrists said he was mentally ill and was unfit to plead.

Following a report in November 2002 that Brown was fit to plead, he was tried in January 2003 and convicted.

After he was convicted, Brown was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve 25 years before parole.

In sending the case to the Court of Appeal for its consideration,  the Privy Council said Brown's longstanding mental health problems will be an additional factor to be taken into consideration.

Brown was charged in 1998 for the murder of Errol Lynch also called 'Weed Man'.

Lynch was shot dead at his house at Swallowfield Road, Kingston in September 1998 when Brown and other men went there to buy ganja.

Brown had denied committing the murder.

In his defence, he said he went to the house to ganja when some men came up, ordered some of the weed and then shot Lynch.

The sole eyewitness died before the trial but in 2003, his statement was tendered into evidence at the hearing.