A twenty-eight-year-old St George’s resident is expected to spend the next twenty-one years and eight months behind prison bars, after accepting a plea bargain of manslaughter for his role in the 2015 accidental death of a Canadian Lecturer, whose body was un-ceremonially disposed of in the bushes close to the Gulf Coast area in the south of the island.
Akim Frank a former member of the dismantled Bloods Gang, had sentence handed down on him last Thursday by High Court Judge Paula Gilford at the number 2 Supreme Court in St George’s; him having accepted full responsibility for the death of the Canadian Lecturer, Linnea Veinotte.
Veinotte’s body was found in an advanced decomposed state five days after she went missing, having left her home on the morning of December 23rd, 2015 for her usual Sunday morning exercise with her dog but never returned.
According to information coming from the court, the police was led to the body by Frank himself, who later revealed to the lawmen that he had accidentally struck both Veinotte and her dog. He first decided to rush the victim to the hospital, however, while en route to the General Hospital, he realized that the lady had died, and therefore changed his mind and decided to dump the body in the bushes to conceal the crime.
Frank was subsequently charged with Non-Capital Murder.
In a lengthy plea of mitigation on his client’s behalf, defence counsel George Prime urged the court to accept the fact that it was not a deliberate act, but instead one where a young man made a bad decision and has since regretted his action.
Prime told the court that his client had a rough upbringing, got involved with the wrong set of friends but in 2010 turned his life around, got married, fathered two children and was therefore on the right path until the incident.
Frank seized the opportunity to apologise to the court, the Grenadian community the police, Veinotte’s husband, Matt Veinotte who was present in court and her family for the pain he has caused in their life, he noted that he cannot reverse the situation, but begged their forgiveness and asked for mercy.
Meanwhile, according to excerpts from the victim’s impact statement, taken from the Social Inquiry Report, the victim’s husband has noted that while he accepts the fact that accidents do happen, it is what was done to his wife after the accident that made the difference. He went on to say that his wife’s death has changed his entire life; the couple has two children ages 5and 6.
In delivering her judgment Judge Gilford reminded Frank that the unceremonial disposal of the victim’s body to conceal his crime took the crime to a different level. She regards Frank’s action as selfish and the court must ensure he has no reason to repeat such an offence in the future.
Although Frank could have been sentenced to life in prison, the judge noted that she took into consideration, time spent on remand and the fact that he pleaded guilty accepting responsibility for his action.
The judge made it known that Frank’s age was not taken into consideration in considering her judgment in what she dubbed a serious and senseless offence.
After deducting two years and one month spent on remand Frank was sentenced to twenty-one years and eight months in prison.
He is also disqualified from driving and is to seek physiological help.
Meanwhile, in addressing members of the media after Thursday’s sentence, Frank’s lawyer George Prime said he thinks the judge would have erred in her judgment for not taking into consideration the age of the accused. This he noted is a critical element in the laws of sentencing and therefore he would be appealing the judgment.