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Four sent to jail for Laventille killing

Published: 
Friday, June 15, 2018

Four men from Laventille have been sentenced to almost 84 years in prison for murdering an elderly neighbour during a home invasion in 2005.

David Noel, John Phillip, Cody Nickie and Joel McHutchinson, all of Pump Trace, Picton Road, Laventille, admitted to the crime earlier this month and were sentenced yesterday by High Court Judge Althea Alexis-Windsor in the Port-of-Spain High Court.

While she ruled that the men each deserved a 31-year sentence for killing 65-year-old Ignatius Antoine, she applied a one-third discount afforded to prisoners who plead guilty to crimes to avoid a trial.

The men are expected to be released in almost eight years time as the 12 years, nine months and a week, they spent on remand before the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) accepted their guilty pleas, under the felony murder rule, was deducted from their sentences.

According to the evidence, presented before sentencing, the murder occurred on August 1, 2005, when the group along with four other men, who were never arrested for the crime, broke into Antoine’s home.

Noel, McHutchinson and Nickie served as lookouts, while Phillip and the others entered the property.

Phillip held Antoine down, while two of the others bludgeoned him with stones. They ransacked the house and stole $300.

The men returned to the property later that night and found that Antoine was still alive. One of the other men, who was not arrested, stabbed Antoine in his neck.

They then wrapped his body in sheets and buried it in a shallow grave a short distance away.

Antoine, a foreman at the Caricom Jetty at the Port-of-Spain Port, was reported missing by his relatives, who visited his home two days after he was killed. His body was found by police days later after residents of the community complained of a decomposing scent.

McHutchinson was given an additional six month discount on his sentence based on his minor role in the crime. Although Noel and Nickie also served as lookouts, both admitted to working with the others in planning the robbery.

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