Trial Judge in 2005:
Murder convict to serve nine more years
Rickie Ramdass email@example.com
A DIEGO MARTIN man who was sentenced to death after being found guilty of stabbing to death his 16-year-old cousin in 2002 was removed from prison custody and placed at St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital, where he will serve nine more years, after which he will be released.
The Court of Appeal in Port of Spain made the order on Wednesday after Marcus Jason Daniel appealed the High Court’s ruling, contending that his conviction was unsafe.
When he first approached the Court of Appeal after sentence was passed, the court dismissed the appeal, with the matter being heard at the Privy Council in London, England.
The British law lords subsequently remitted the matter to the local Court of Appeal in 2008 for re-sentencing after hearing evidence from three clinical and forensic psychiatrists that Daniel suffered from a borderline personality disorder and satisfied the criteria for alcohol and drug-induced psychosis.
The law lords had ruled the diagnosis raised a credible defence of diminished responsibility and should have been raised at the trial.
During the trial at the High Court in 2005, before former judge Herbert Volney, Daniel said he was listening to heavy metal rock music and was high on drugs when he murdered Suzette Gibson.
At the appeal before Chief Justice Ivor Archie and appellate judges Justices Rajendra Narine and Prakash Moosai, psychiatrist Dr Gerard Hutchinson said the disorder made Daniel impulsive and destructive.
The doctor had said the best way of treating such cases would be in an institution such as St Ann’s Hospital, as opposed to prison.
The Appeal Court ordered Daniel serve nine more years at the medical institution, after discounting time already served since the date of conviction.
Representing Daniel at the appeal were attorneys Bindra Dolsingh and John Heath, while Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Kathy Ann Waterman-Latchoo represented the State.