By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A JUDGE was asked to consider the request of a seven-year-old girl to allow her father to return home, notwithstanding the call for a message to be sent to society that the convict’s violent murder of her mother should not be encouraged.
After more than 30 minutes of submissions by defence and Crown counsel yesterday, Justice Bernard Turner said he would determine John Adderley’s fate in one week’s time concerning the January 9, 2011, murder of Denise Adderley.
She was the mother of Mr Adderley’s daughter but had ended her relationship with him several months before her death. On the night in question, she was shot multiple times as she sat in her car at the Texaco Service Station on Wulff and Kemp Roads.
Mr Adderley’s lawyer, Murrio Ducille, had argued in the trial that his client be found guilty of manslaughter rather than murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
But a jury rejected Adderley’s claim that he was not himself that night when they returned a unanimous guilty verdict in May.
In yesterday’s proceedings, a probation officer from the Department of Rehabilitative Welfare Services submitted her probation report on the taxi driver to the court.
However, she was neither questioned by Mr Ducille nor prosecutor Sandradee Gardiner.
Mr Ducille made a plea in mitigation and referred to the probation officer’s interview with his client and how “sorrowful” he was for his actions.
“He shared that he, too, was shocked by this matter and that it was uncharacteristic of him. But he accepts what happened that night, but denied that his actions were premeditated,” Mr Ducille said.
“The defence did not really challenge the prosecutor’s case except that the ‘normal’ John Adderley would not have behaved like he did on that fateful night,” he added.
Ducille reminded the judge that he himself had informed the jury, prior to excusing them to deliberate, that they could consider returning a guilty verdict of manslaughter by diminished responsibility.
He continued that notwithstanding the guilty verdict for murder, and the laws put in effect by Parliament, the court was not bound by the decisions of the executive.
The lawyer told Justice Turner that he had the discretion in dealing with each case according to its own merit.
“John Adderley, from very early stages, has always led a positive and productive life,” Mr Ducille submitted, adding that not only was his client religious, but also sought security for himself and his family through the construction of apartments.
Mr Ducille further highlighted the report where prison officials had nothing but praise for Adderley, who was described as meek and non-problematic. He said that from his own conversations with these officials, they were of the view that “Fox Hill prison is not for him”.
The lawyer also referred to the interview with the convict’s seven-year-old daughter who “expressed love for her parents and was saddened that her father had hurt her mother”.
“She wants to know why her father has been in prison for such a long time. She wants to see him and feels he should be allowed to return home,” Mr Ducille read from the report.
He also noted that the daughter understood that her father should go back to prison for life if he re-offended upon release.
The lawyer also noted that the mother of the victim had no “malice or venom” for Mr Adderley and was prepared to accept whatever punishment the court imposed.
Mr Ducille submitted that no punishment the court imposed could outweigh Mr Adderley’s feeling “in that moment when he came to the realisation as to what transpired”.
In response, Ms Gardiner submitted that Mr Ducille appeared to be asking the court to overturn the jury’s findings though she stood to be corrected if it were not the case.
She said while the characteristics of the convict is something to take into consideration, justice must also be considered to determine “what is right for society, but more importantly what is right for Denise Adderley”.
“Denise Adderley also had a right to life,” she added. “There’s nothing to suggest she was not a productive citizen. She was a teacher so she, too, was making a valuable contribution to society up to the time of her death.
“Not only did she lose her life, but it was the manner in which she did. She was shot several times with a shotgun by someone who supposedly loved her,” Ms Gardiner added.
“He (John) left her car to go to his car, to retrieve the gun to take her life,” the prosecutor noted, adding that the prevalent use of firearms “in the commission of offences, particularly murders in this country should be looked at as an aggravating factor.”
“The sentence ought to send a message to society that life is valuable; that the taking of a life, unjustifiably, will not be encouraged,” she concluded.
The scheduled date for the judge’s decision is September 3 at 2pm.