Two men who admitted their involvement in an October 2011 shooting near Gravity nightclub appeared before the Supreme Court yesterday [July 17] for sentencing, but their sentencing was put off until Thursday 19th July 2012.
Yesterday’s part hearing started one and a quarter hours later than the scheduled 2:30pm start as shown in timings published in the Supreme Court calendar.
Pelealkhai Williams, 23, and Jonathan Dill, 28, were brought in to sit in the prisoner’s enclosure after which proceedings got underway.
Noting that under the Firearms Act 1973, the maximum sentence for a first offence is imprisonment for not less than ten years and not more than twenty years, lead Prosecutor Cindy Clarke recommended a ‘global sentence’ of 12 – 14 years for Williams. Ms Clarke recommended a lighter sentence of between 18 and 24 months for Dill for his role as an accessory.
Ms Clarke told the Court that Williams and Dill had shown scant regard for community held values and that the behaviour of persons committing firearms offences is reinforced by those who assist them to evade authorities after the commission of an offence.
Ms Clarke said that it was the duty of the “Court to impose a sentence which will send a message to the community that this behaviour will not be tolerated nor treated lightly.”
Pelealkhai Williams was convicted on one count of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm by shooting at Rodney Grimes with a loaded firearm on October 8, 2011. Williams was also convicted on a separate count of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence with a firearm.
Jonathan Dill was convicted of being an accessory after the fact and to wounding with intent. Dill had described himself as having helped Williams to enable him to get away from the scene, despite knowing that Williams had committed an offence. The Court heard that that Williams was acting on orders from other gang members to shoot the victim.
Several weeks ago, Police had praised the convictions and the Department of Public Prosecutions for bringing the matter to conclusion without the need for a lengthy and expensive trial. At the time, Police had said: “The circumstances of this case demonstrate that, where there is evidence that any person knowingly assists in any crime, it will be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Mr Rodney Grimes, 25, from Devonshire, had been shot at and hit in the ear in the old Clay House Inn car park near Gravity Nightclub, on North Shore Road, Devonshire. The shooting happened around 3.20am on October 8, 2011 about the time that the nightclub was emptying. Grimes received minor injuries and was released from hospital following treatment. Williams is the self-confessed shooter. Dill rode the get-away bike with Williams as passenger.
Williams is represented by lawyer Shade Subair. Lawyer Craig Attridge represents Dill. Williams and Dill return on Thursday afternoon when the Court will hear mitigating arguments from their defence lawyers; after which sentence will be handed down.
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