Court Of Appeal Upholds 18-Year Manslaughter Sentence


Tribune Staff Reporter


THE Court of Appeal recently upheld the 18-year manslaughter sentence of a woman who fatally stabbed her boyfriend in 2016.

Ashley McKenzie was accused of killing Andrew Mackey on August 24, 2016. According to initial police reports, shortly after midnight on the day in question, police were called to a house on Ida Street in reference to a fatal stabbing incident. At the time, police said a woman alleged that she stabbed her boyfriend during an argument.

McKenzie was initially charged with murder. However, when the evidence was heard during the proceedings, the appellant decided to plead guilty to manslaughter. After she did this, her counsel and the lawyer representing the Crown discussed possible sentences and came to the agreement that an 18-year sentence was an appropriate punishment for the offence.

According to a judgement posted on the Court of Appeal’s website, the trial judge accepted the recommendation made by McKenzie’s attorney and the Crown's lawyer.

Still, the appellant attempted to appeal her sentence after arguing that the punishment handed down to her was unduly harsh.

Last month, Justices Sir Michael Barnett, Jon Issacs, and Maureen Crane-Scott affirmed McKenzie’s conviction after ruling the sentence was “not inconsistent with the authorities with respect to sentencing for manslaughter”.

In his judgement Sir Barnett stated: “The eighteen years is not unduly harsh, as it was the sentence that was communicated to the intended appellant through her lawyer and the Crown's lawyer to the court as being appropriate.

“In those circumstances, we take the view that the intended appellant cannot now come to the Court of Appeal, after having agreed to the eighteen years, to now say that the eighteen years is unduly harsh. In the circumstances, we deny the application for extension of time, because the appeal is out of time, and we affirm the conviction and the sentence”. 

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