Clansman Gang Trial | Man happy with 18-month sentence, as associates get sent away for several years
A member of the One Don Gang, who was this afternoon sentenced to 18 months in prison for being a member of the much-feared St Catherine-based criminal organisation, is overjoyed with his seemingly light sentence.
Lamar Simpson was found guilty of being a member of a criminal organisation on March 8 and the maximum sentence for membership of a gang is 20 years.
The evidence before the court was that he was among a group of gangsters who went in search of a man called 'Ice' who they were instructed to kill, but the search was unsuccessful.
However, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes said there was nothing to indicate that he was involved in shootings, arson or murder or that any violence was used during the search.
Hence, he started at 10 years but reduced the sentence by four years based on Simpson's previous good record and his good community and social enquiry report.
The sentence further dwindled down to 18 months after the four years and six months spent in custody was deducted from the six years.
The judge noted that the Simpson's baby mother had described him as the “best man she has ever had” and that he was described as decent, hardworking, responsible, and family-oriented.
“The one problem that she had is not really relevant for the current purpose, it's a matter for himself and the mother of his child,” Sykes said.
Simpson's mother, the judge said, also spoke highly of Simpson, noting that he was jovial, hardworking and was a good father to his two sons.
Community members also had nothing bad to say about Simpson. They described his current circumstances as unfortunate while noting that they did not believe that he was a gang member and asked for him to be released or be given the minimum sentence.
Reacting to the sentence, attorney-at-law Keith Bishop said, “Our client is extremely pleased and we are happy that the judge in our view did the right thing and applied the law with respect to the mitigating and aggravating factors and what we think was an appropriate starting point, so I think the judge followed the law correctly and we are very happy with the outcome.”
“I spoke with Mr Simpson and he is very pleased with the sentence, he thinks the court made the right decision and we are in agreement,” said Janoi Pinnock, who also represented Simpson.
THE OTHER SENTENCES
Simpson was among four convicted gang members, including Michael Whitely, Brian Morris and Dylon McLean, who were sentenced this afternoon.
25-year-old Whitely, also known as 'Stennet', who is the youngest of the convicts, was sentenced to a total of 16 years for being a member of a gang and for facilitating the commission of murder by the gang in which he was one of the shooters of an unknown Rastaman on Jones Avenue in St Catherine.
Morris, who the state witness said was the actual shooter of the Rastaman, is to serve a total 18 years and six months behind bars.
He was handed consecutive sentences of eight years and nine months for being a member of a gang and nine years, nine months for facilitating the murder.
While McLean, who was among a group of gangsters armed with Molotov cocktails before the killing of a couple and torching of their house at Fisheries, St Catherine, is to serve seven years and three months for his crimes.
He was convicted of being part of a criminal organisation and two counts of facilitating the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation.
Earlier in today's proceedings, convicted gang leader Andre 'Blackman' Bryan was sentenced to 39 and half years for leadership of the gang and seven counts of facilitating the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation.
His cousin Tomrick Taylor was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison for being part of a criminal organisation.
The sentencing will resume tomorrow morning with the judge continuing his deliberation for the sentence for the lone female gangster, Stephanie Cole Christie.
Nine convicts remain to be sentenced.- Tanesha Mundle
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