SENIOR Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Jeremy Taylor, KC, says that office is "eagerly" anticipating the ruling of the Appeals Court on the first case brought by prosecutors since the law was changed to give the Crown the limited right of appeal against acquittals and sentences.
Taylor, representing Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn during Mondays' Special Sitting of the Appeal Court to mark the start of the Michaelmas Term, said, "the jurisprudence of the courts will provide a template as to how future appeals will be approached by the Office of the DPP [ODPP]".
The ODPP in December of 2021 served notice that it would appeal the 12-year sentence handed down to Lindel Powell, otherwise called Lazarus, who had confessed to two counts of murder in a 2017 Westmoreland incident.
The historic appeal, which was brought before the Appeal Court in May this year, was the first to be filed under the Judicature (Appellate Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Act, 2021.
The ODPP, which is seeking to have the 12-year prison term imposed on Powell significantly increased, said the Crown had recommended life imprisonment with eligibility after 21 years for each count during the original sentencing exercise. That bid was, however, dismissed by Justice Bertram Morrison who tried the matter.
Powell was taken into custody after being held with a firearm belonging to Oral McIntosh, a licensed firearm holder, who was shot dead at his home at Top Lincoln District, Grange Hill, Westmoreland, on Saturday, January 7, 2017.
During a question and answer interview held on July 15, 2017, Powell indicated that he was in the company of Logan Miller, otherwise called Alkaline (now deceased), on the day of the murder.
Powell confessed that he and Alkaline were on the road robbing men and women when he saw two men in a yard. He went to them and said "go pon unnu face". While the men were on the ground, he searched McIntosh's van while Alkaline searched the men. He said that Alkaline found a gun on McIntosh, shot him in his head, and took the gun. They also took the slain man's phone and about $32,000 in cash.
Powell also confessed to the murder of a man named Ika Clarke in March 2017 at Mount Mountain, Grange Hill, Westmoreland.
When he was asked what part he played in that murder he said, "Fire five shot inna him chest."
He also stated that Clarke was killed because "him did a mek talk seh mi cousin Bleachers cyaan bury an den mi a go dead an him already kill one a mi fren', Jabez". Additionally, Powell said that the gun that the police found on him on July 14, 2017 was one of the weapons used to kill Clarke.
And Taylor on Monday told the sitting that the ODPP has in the meantime established a Court of Appeal Unit not only to be a liaison between the Court of Appeal registry and that office but also to establish best practices in relation to appeals.
Appeal Court President Justice Patrick Brooks responding to that detail said, "we are very happy of the announcement concerning the Court of Appeal Unit and we hope that that will result in more timely filing of the submissions whether they be hardcopy or soft copy".
According to Justice Brooks, "the unit is going to be put to work very soon" as the appeal court was "embarking on a drive to get some of the cases which have missing transcripts regularised".
"We have seen a window where it is possible that some may be secured, and we will liaise with the Court of Appeal Unit at the ODPP in that regard," Justice Brooks stated.