Sentencing of three cops delayed until May 17

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THE three police constables who were in February found guilty of manslaughter for the 2012 shooting death of 16-year-old schoolgirl Vanessa Kirkland will have to wait until May 17 to know their fate.

The initial sentencing hearing for constables Durvin Hayles, Anna Kay Bailey and Andrewain Smith, which was planned for yesterday in the Home Circuit Court, suffered a delay after one of the defence attorneys asked for the sentencing to be deferred in order for the social enquiry reports to be prepared.

Attorney Oswest Senior-Smith, who is represents Bailey and who spoke on behalf of attorneys Peter Champagnie and Nadine Guy, told Justice Carol Lawrence Beswick, “It is our view that this court may be assisted with a social enquiry report.”

Additionally, he said, although the request may prove to be somewhat of an inconvenience, it would help the judge to be in a more informed position as it relates to the sentencing of each of their clients.

The judge agreed that the social enquiry report would assist, while pointing out that it was no inconvenience to her. Consequently a sentencing date was set for May 17 and the three convicts were remanded.

The three constables, who were assigned to the Mobile Reserve, were arrested and charged with murder in May 2013. However, they were found guilty on the lesser charge of manslaughter on February 8 following a five-week trial, which started in January.

The prosecutor, during the trial, led evidence that the teenager, who was a student of Immaculate Conception High School, was killed in March 2012 after the three police constables drove onto Norman Lane, some time after 9 o’ clock on the night of the incident, and opened fire on a blue Suzuki Swift motor car parked along the left side of the road.

Six other occupants in the car were shot and injured in the incident.

The defence team, however, maintained that the police went in pursuit of the vehicle after they were put on alert that occupants of the car had robbed a man of his cellphones, during which pursuit two men fired at them from the car and they took evasive action and fired back.

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