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High court judge grants Clifton resident extension of time for payment of manslaughter fine

first_img Share Share Sharing is caring! Share 19 Views   no discussionscenter_img LocalNews High court judge grants Clifton resident extension of time for payment of manslaughter fine by: – March 30, 2012 William Greenaway, a licensed contractor of Clifton who found guilty of manslaughter in 2010 and fined $15, 000.00 has been granted an extension of 51 months by Justice Birnie Stephenson-Brooks to pay that fine.It is the prosecution’s contention that in June of 2007, William Greenaway and Valmond Thomas were visiting villages in the north selling fish and on arrival in Penville, Greenaway gave two females a ride and asked Valmond to alight his vehicle. According to the prosecution, Valmond did not alight the vehicle and was “pulled off the vehicle” by Greenaway who then drove away. Valmond sustained severe injuries which paralyzed him. He remained at the Portsmouth hospital for six months and thereafter died.Greenaway was found guilty of manslaughter by a jury on the 15th of July, 2010 and sentenced by Justice Birnie Stephenson-Brooks to a five year prison sentence which was suspended for five years and to pay a fine of $15, 000.00 within 180 days or in default serve an imprisonment term of 24 months.Greenaway through his attorney Dawn Yearwood-Stewart appealed the sentence arguing that Justice Stephenson-Brooks did not investigate her client’s means to assess whether he could in fact pay the fine.The Court of Appeal at its last sitting in Dominica in November of 2011 granted the appeal; ordering that the judge conduct a “means test” to examine the defendant’s ability to pay the fine and reduced the suspended sentence to three years.That means test was conducted on Friday 30th March, 2012 where Greenaway’s attorney led evidence in Court to show that her client “cannot” afford to pay the fine. In mitigating on behalf of her client she told the court that her client is “unable” to pay the fine at this time and is hoping that the court will “give him less money to pay and a little more time to pay the debt”.Greenaway testified that he has not been able to find employment since the incident occurred in 2012 despite his several attempts. He said he works two days per week maintaining generators and the yard for Dr. Grell who owns 12 apartment buildings in Portsmouth. He told the Court that he has a 1 ½ acre farm on which he cultivates dasheens but has been having difficulty in selling the produce as they are in abundance at the market. Greenaway explained that he makes about $50.00 on average in dasheen sales, does a little fishing with his friend from time to time and earns in the range of $500.00 to $600.00 per month from little jobs.He explained that he has 6 children, brought copies of his commitments including; water and electricity bills to the Court as proof that he is going “through a tough time in his life”. He told the Court that he worked with a contractor for 2 months but he has not yet received the $4,500.00 payment and does not know when he will receive that payment because of some dispute between the owner and contractor. He has a Toyota van which he cannot maintain and has been trying to sell to pay some of his debts.Justice Stephenson-Brooks after questioning Greenaway as to his means told the defendant that she did not find him to be “a truthful witness”, as he told a social welfare report conducted 2 years ago that he was employed on a government housing project in Chance, Portsmouth but made no mention of it during his testimony on Friday. “I have great difficulty in accepting what you are saying. I find that the defendant is not being entirely truthful as to his earnings. I find his answers to be shifty”.She said further that the evidence was insufficient to “paint a proper picture as to the Defendant’s means or that they do not paint a truthful picture of his inability to pay the fine”.Stephenson-Brooks also said that while Greenaway may be experiencing a low point in his life, he has to be punished for the crime.“I am not moved to reduce the fine; I will extend the period. I am not convinced that he does not have the means. I find he needs to make a better attempt to increase his earnings as he is a young man. You owe a debt to the society, you owe a debt to the state; you cannot just not pay”She encouraged him to find an “additional” job which will go towards payment of the fine.Greenaway was ordered to pay the fine of %15, 000.00 within 51 months of 30th March, 2012 or in default will serve 24 months in prison.Dominica Vibes News Tweetlast_img read more