Sentencing Appeal Delayed Until September At Lawyer's Request


Tribune Staff Reporter


A LAWYER representing a man who wishes to challenge his sentence for the murder of a utility technician asked the Court of Appeal for additional time to prepare his application.

Leslie Webster, 57, appeared in the Court of Appeal yesterday for the expected hearing of an extension of time application concerning his formal challenge to a 60-year sentence imposed by the Supreme Court for the 2001 murder of Garfield Wright.

At a hearing on January 31, Webster's lawyer, Glendon Rolle, was asked to file documents in support of the application and the matter was adjourned to April 4 for the hearing.

Mikia Cooper, who appeared on behalf of Mr Rolle on that occasion and sought an adjournment as the latter was out of the jurisdiction and the request had not been objected to by Crown respondents Olivia Nixon and Bradford McKenzie.

Court of Appeal President Justice Dame Anita Allen said based on the court's file, the undertaking by the appellant's counsel was not carried out. However, the appellate court adjourned the matter to June.

Yesterday, Mr Rolle, who had unsuccessfully contested the Long Island constituency for the Progressive Liberal Party in the recent general election, asked for additional time and was given until September 6.

Wright, a 40-year-old Cable Bahamas line technician, was stabbed 16 times about the body with a knife as he tried to protect his 10-year-old daughter from an intruder during a break-in at the family home in Fiddler's Green in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Webster was linked to the crime scene through DNA taken from fingernail clippings and a confession statement after he was arrested by police. He was unanimously convicted by a jury in March 2005 and sentenced to death.

However, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 2006 ruled that the country's then mandatory death penalty upon a murder conviction was unconstitutional.

His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment afterwards and at a re-sentencing hearing in February, 2011, before then Senior Justice Jon Isaacs, he received a 60-year sentence.

He is now seeking to challenge that punishment on the grounds that it is excessively harsh.

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