Update | Man given 12-year sentence for two murders has previous gun conviction
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has revealed that the Westmoreland man today sentenced to 12 years in prison on two counts of murder had two previous convictions for illegal possession of a firearm.
Linden Powell, 21, was on August 21, 2019, sentenced to 18 months imprisonment at hard labour on each count of the firearm offences.
Today, Justice Bertram Morrison sentenced him to 12 years in prison for the January 2017 murder of Oral McIntosh and another 12 years for the March murder of Ida Clarke, both in Westmoreland.
Both sentences are to run at the same time and Morrison ruled that Powell should become eligible for parole after 10 years behind bars.
In a statement today, the ODPP revealed that after passing down the sentence, the deputy director of public prosecutions indicated on the record that when the plea was being entered, the Crown had recommended a sentence of life imprisonment on each count of murder with eligibility for parole after 21 years.
"The learned judge responded by saying he would be proceeding with this sentence," said a spokesperson in the statement.
The deputy director then told the court that the sentence of twelve years imprisonment would shock the public's conscience given the nature of these offences.
However, Justice Morrison maintained the sentence of 12 years imprisonment at hard labour with 10 years before the accused becomes eligible for parole.
The prosecution then decided that it would appeal the sentence.
In October this year, prosecutors were given a limited right of appeal after Parliament passed the Judicature (Appellate Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Act 2021 and the Judicature (Parish Courts) (Amendment) Act 2021.
The legislation came into effect on November 2, legal insiders disclosed.
Powell is one of six men who were found not guilty of various breaches of the anti-gang legislation during the Kings Valley gang trial in July last year.
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