By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for the brutal murder of his 76-year-old father. Justice Bernard Turner sentenced Lee Sweeting to 45 years in prison concerning the November 2017 murder of Leon Sweeting who was stabbed 47 times. However, Sweeting’s sentence was reduced to 43 years, three months and two weeks to reflect the 20 months and two weeks he has already spent in custody.
During his remarks, Justice Turner described this incident as a “remarkably” callous and cold hearted destruction of human life and an example of overkill.
He noted a probation report indicated the murder was a planned event with the intention of making it appear to be suicide.
The motive for the murder appeared to be Sweeting’s anger with his father’s verbal reprimands regarding the course and trajectory of his life.
Justice Turner added he’d considered all Sweeting’s legal counsel had said regarding the case and his personal life - including that he had shown some remorse and admission of guilt, although no guilty plea was needed.
He also noted he considered Sweeting’s youth. The accused was 21-years-old at the time of the killing.
However, Justice Turner noted there are aggravating circumstances, including the premeditation and overkill associated with the murder, as well as the fact the victim was Sweeting’s father - meaning Sweeting “literally bit the hand that fed him”.
Noting the court has to consider both rehabilitation and the protection of society, Justice Turner sentenced Sweeting to 45 years. However, from the sentence he deducted the period of Sweeting’s incarceration up to this point.
The elder Sweeting was found found stabbed to death by family members at his home off Faith Avenue South.
Superintendent Shanta Knowles said neighbours in the area had noticed Sweeting was not sitting in his yard as he usually does. Concerned, they knocked at his door, and after not getting a response, notified family members who subsequently made the gruesome discovery.
A jury unanimously found the younger Sweeting guilty of the murder on April 10 of this year.
Sweeting had claimed he was attacked by his father with a knife and consequently acted in self-defence. Sweeting sustained a cut to his hand.