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Farmer loses jail term appeal for murder over contract killing

 

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A St Elizabeth man who murdered another man who failed to carry out a contract killing after the payment of $100,000, has lost his bid to have his 20-year prison sentence reduced to 15 years. 

The convict, Sanjay Splatt, a farmer of Ginger Ground district in Malvern, pleaded guilty to murder, but not guilty to kidnapping relative to the 2015 death of 31-year-old Everton Mullings.

Splatt was sentenced in the St Elizabeth Circuit Court on March 23, 2018, to 20 years imprisonment at hard labour, with the stipulation that he serve 15 years before being eligible for parole consideration. 

The convict, through his defence attorney, Hugh Wilson, appealed the sentence on the grounds that both the judge’s sentence and the pre-parole period of 15 years were “manifestly excessive”.

Instead, Wilson submitted that a sentence of 15 years and a pre-parole period of approximately 10 years would be more appropriate. 

But in a recent judgment written by Court of Appeal member, Justice Nicole Foster-Pusey, it was concluded that the 20-year prison sentence was not manifestly excessive, as the sentence was appropriate, given that Splatt lured Mullings to be murdered, and also the gruesome nature of the killing. 

In relation to the period for parole eligibility, the Appeal Court said the judge’s “imposition of a pre-parole period of 15 years is in keeping with the legislative provisions, and is not manifestly excessive.” 

The facts of the case as outlined by the prosecution are that Splatt contracted Mullings at a price of $100,000, to kill an individual.

Splatt paid Mullings the money, and he (Splatt) went to the area where he (Mullings) was expected to see the potential victim to be murdered.

Despite calling Mullings several times after spotting the potential target, Splatt never got contact with him and the hit was not carried out.

“Upset that the deceased (Mullings) had not lived up to his contractual obligation, the appellant (Splatt) told him (Mullings) that he had some ganja for him at a hut in St Elizabeth, and so lured him to journey there,” the judgment outlined.

Mullings and another man known as ‘Rasta’ went to the hut. 

Splatt, however, was unaware that Rasta would be accompanying Mullings to the area. 

When both men arrived at the hut, Splatt pointed a gun at Mullings, but Rasta managed to escape from the scene.

Mullings was eventually tied up by Splatt, and he (Mullings) was instructed to contact family members to bring $100,000. Failure to do so would result in his killing, Splatt advised him.

But the requested money did not arrive.

“One day when the appellant (Splatt) was moving Mullings to another location, he tried to escape,” the judgment stated. 

Splatt shot and killed Mullings, and transported his body to an area close to a dump site near the Buena Vista Housing Scheme in St Elizabeth, where he set the body on fire. 

On October 27, 2015, residents discovered the remains of Mullings and alerted the police

Splatt was eventually arrested, and during a caution statement, he outlined what led him to murder Mullings. 

The farmer was subsequently charged with murder and kidnapping.

The prosecution led no evidence against the kidnapping charge, paving the way for Splatt to eventually plead guilty to murder in 2018.


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