DJ to do community service after stabbing bar customer several times Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

According to a Grand Court judgment dated February 17, 2023, the Hon. Justice Cheryll Richards K.C. determined that Sekou Lemumba Litchmore, a DJ who stabbed an Everglo bar customer several times, will avoid prison and, instead, have to do community service and an anger management programme.

The background to the stabbing, as described in the judgment, is as follows:

In summary, on the night of the 2nd January 2022, the defendant was working as a Disc Jockey at the Everglo Bar in George Town.

The victim Omar Plummer was a patron at the Bar.

The victim is a part time Disc Jockey and made repeated requests of the defendant to be allowed to play some music.

When the defendant ignored his requests, the victim tried to enter the music room. The defendant asked him to leave, took up a knife and stabbed him four times to the front of his body.

Concerning the injuries to the victim, the judgment explained:

The victim was hospitalised for surgical care for one month. He suffered the following injuries:-

i. A wound approximately 1.5cm in length in the region of the sternum;

ii. A wound approximately 1.5cm in length in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen;

iii. Two (2) wounds each 1cm in length to the umbilical area on the left side.”

Regarding other impacts to Mr Plummer, the judgment said:

The Department of Community Rehabilitation (“DCR”) has provided a Victim Impact Report 24 (“VIR”) dated 17th January 2023. Attached to the report is the victim impact statement of Mr. Plummer dated 9th January 2023. He says that the physical injuries which he suffered caused him immense pain and discomfort. Presently he is struggling with feelings of insecurity, helplessness and a loss of control. Sometimes he does not wish to go outside and spends time locked in the house. He is afraid to go outside for fear of the defendant.

The judgment continued: “He lost his job after being in hospital for one month and on unpaid sick leave for two months as a result of the assault. There is a letter from his employer as to his earnings. Calculations arising from this are that the victim lost wages of $4,160.00. He has a hospital bill at the Health Services Authority (“HSA”) of $21,322.46.”

Analysing the submissions by legal counsel to the Grand Court, the judge noted:

Notwithstanding the concession of the prosecution that the injuries in this case are not serious in the context of the offence, I have considered the circumstances with some care. The injuries are serious requiring as they did hospitalisation for one month and leading to inability to work for some time.

The judge added:

Under the heading of culpability there are two factors. The first is that a weapon was used. On the defendant’s account he was being punched.

The fact that the purpose for having the knife was for work does not excuse the use of it. There were other options open to the defendant. He could have used his fists in response. Secondly, the multiplicity of the injuries to different parts of the body of the victim evidences the repeated nature of the assault. I conclude that this is a case of higher culpability.

The starting point under the Guidelines for an offence of higher culpability and lesser harm is three (3) years custody or thirty-six (36) months.

The judge then increased this sentence by three (3) months to thirty-nine (39) months imprisonment after considering aggravating factors, being the location of the offence where alcohol is likely to be a catalyst for disorder and a previous conviction of the defendant for Common Assault.

Finally, the judge considered everything that was said or written in the defendant’s favor. This included the defendant’s “remorse and willingness to apologise and pay compensation,” the “level of provocation,” the defendant’s “good work ethic and other personal qualities,” and “his personal circumstances including that he is the father of one child for whom he provides and the expectant father of a second child for whom he will have to provide.”

The judge continued: “When all the factors are taken into account, the sentence is reduced to one of twenty-two (22) months imprisonment.”

However, the defendant would not actually serve this time in prison as the judge said:

The sentence of twenty-two (22) months imprisonment is suspended for two (2) years.

In addition, pursuant to s.21 of the Alternative Sentencing Act, a supervision order is made for two (2) years.

The conditions of the order as given by the probation officer in the SIR and VIR are:-

1. To participate in the Anger Management Programme.

2. To submit to random drug testing.

3. To participate in any other programmes as instructed by the probation officer. In particular he should comply with the recommendation of the officer for psychological testing.

4. He is not to be in direct or indirect contact with the victim.

5. He is not to go within 20 yards of the victim should the victim be in a public place.

The judgment concluded:

Pursuant to s.42 of the Penal Code, the defendant is to perform 240 hours of community service in two years under the supervision of the probation officer.

Pursuant to s.33 of the Penal Code he is to pay compensation in the sum of $25,482.46. In default of non-payment of compensation, the total term of imprisonment is five (5) years.