PETER LIONEL SHADE was sent to prison Wednesday for the fatal kick he dealt Wayne “Bram” Abraham back in 2002.
In passing sentence, Justice Hayden St Clair-Douglas said, “The incident can be described as one where the deceased received an unlucky blow ... The depressing facts demonstrate the ease at which evil could come seeking out a man even when he has not gone out of his way to do wrong.”
But St Clair-Douglas said that it could not be forgotten that a life had been taken and he sentenced Shade, 49, to three years and ten months hard labour.
The two were friends and, St-Clair-Douglas said according to a statement, on July 27 2002, Shade had asked Wayne “Bram” Abraham about money owed to him and Abraham said he was unable to repay.
Eyewitnesses said Shade was at his Egypt Village, Point Fortin home installing louvres along with other men when around 11.30 a.m. when Abraham began pulling Shade’s shoulder. Shade told him, “Bram, leave me let me do my work.”
Abraham continued pulling the accused by the shoulder and Shade told him to leave the house.
Abraham did not. Shade continued his work.
Abraham returned to the room and again pulled at Shade’s shoulder, causing Shade to stagger. When he regained his balance, Shade slapped Abraham on the face and then kicked him in the centre of his stomach.
Shade was wearing a steel-tipped construction boot at the time.
On being kicked, Abraham held onto his stomach and sat for about five minutes before leaving.
Around 9 p.m. he went to the hospital where he was examined. It was found that he had an inflamed pancreas and a hole in the small bowel. He also had two litres of blood in the abdominal cavity.
Abraham spent 19 days in hospital during which time he underwent two operations. His condition deteriorated and he passed away on August 15 2002.
A post mortem found he died as a result of an inflamed pancreas, caused by a blunt force injury and also complications from holes in the bowel. Pathologist Hughvon Des Vignes said that the blunt force was with a severe degree of magnitude and believed it was consistent with a forceful kick.
The day after he kicked Abraham, Shade went to the Point Fortin police station where he was told of a report against him. Shade gave a statement to the police.
Following Abraham’s death, a warrant was issued for Shade’s arrest and he returned to the police station. He told officers, “I don’t know what to say. To say I aim to kill him, I didn’t do that. I didn’t expect that to happen.”
A month ago, Shade pleaded guilty before the San Fernando First Criminal Court to the charge as laid by then Sergeant Denoon, that on a day unknown between July 27 and August 15 2002, he unlawfully killed Abraham.
The judge said Wednesday that testimonials and information of Shade’s involvement in the community and also that he never had run afoul of the law, had been placed before the court by defence attorney Jason Jackson. He said that Jackson spoke of the incident being a single blow in annoyance rather than anger and also that it was not a premeditated attack.
But the judge said that while the weapon was a pair of shoes which Shade wore in his line of work and he accepted that Shade had shown genuine remorse, he had to consider the prevalence of such behaviour in society.
Douglas said the maximum sentence for such an offence was 25 to 30 years in prison.
He said he however believed that this case was on the lower end of the scale and would start at a six-year jail term. Two years were deducted because of Shade’s guilty plea and the judge also considered the two months he had spent in prison. Shade was sentenced to three years and ten months hard labour.
The State was represented by attorney Shabana Shah and Sarah de Silva. Attorney Angelica Teelucksingh held on Shah’s behalf.
Representatives from the group United Brotherhood, Egypt Village which Shade formed 20 years ago, packed the courtroom. Group member Shannon Adams said that Shade will remain the president of the group until his release and while they would have preferred that he had walked out the court with them, they understood the proceedings.
Shade’s mother however was in tears. She said she felt the sentence was unjust.