Tue | Jul 23, 2024

Court in Trinidad sentences two-time wife killer to prison

Published:Friday | May 24, 2024 | 1:14 PM
Joseph will serve a prison term of five months and 27 days due to time already spent in custody.

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – A man in Trinidad who killed his second common-law wife seven months after he was released from prison for killing his first has been sentenced to 26 years in prison, with the judge ordering that he be put on probation for two years after his release.

Justice Devan Rampersad imposed the sentence on 62 year-old Winston Joseph, who however, will serve a prison term of five months and 27 days due to time already spent in custody.

Joseph pleaded guilty to manslaughter based on an unlawful act after he entered a plea agreement with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in March after he had been charged with the murder of Ann-Marie Mark in October 4, 2003, at her home in Diego Martin.

In 1994, Joseph was convicted of manslaughter for killing his then-common-law wife, Pansy Wiltshire, who was five months pregnant, in Maloney Gardens.

Justice Harold Koylass had sentenced him to five years, but he only served three years and eight months, with prison authorities applying remission to his sentence.

Joseph was not arrested for Mark's murder until July 2007, when her daughter spotted him at a construction site in the capital.

In sentencing Joseph, Justice Rampersad accepted the starting point of 24 years the prosecution and defence had agreed to, but applied a two-year upward adjustment because of his manslaughter conviction, which was the court's main concern.

Rampersad applied the one-third discount for the guilty plea and the 16 years,10 months and three days he spent on remand, leaving him with five months and 27 days to serve.

Mark's two children provided eyewitness evidence in the prosecution's case against Joseph.

One of them told the High Court that he heard the couple quarrelling the day of the murder and had advised them to behave.

But he said while at a nearby spring taking a bath before going to work, he heard his mother scream and saw Joseph running from the house.

Her daughter also heard the couple arguing that morning and heard her mother saying, “Not because you stab me up the first time, you feel you could come and do it again.”

The High Court heard that after she asked her brother to assist, she saw Joseph go to her mother's house twice before also hearing her scream.

When she rushed to assist, she saw her mother with a knife in her hand and her hand on her chest.

She said her mother started to walk to the road before collapsing on the ground.

In the first killing, Joseph told police he strangled Wiltshire after she and her young son said her ex-partner had visited her.

In a plea in mitigation, Joseph's attorney, public defender Michelle Ali, said he regretted his actions and admitted anger management was a struggle for him when he was younger.

She said he used his time in prison to gain a measure of self-control and had no infractions during his incarceration.

Ali also said he wanted an opportunity to care for his elderly father on his release.

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