by Colene A. Penn (GIS)
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions scored a major legal victory when the Judicial Committee of The Privy Council in the United Kingdom in their judgment of October 12, 2015 upheld the convictions and sentences of Andrew Milton and Dennis Campbell for the offences of murder and conspiracy to murder.
Andrew Milton and Dennis Campbell were convicted on October 5, 2009 of the murder of Dorcas Elizabeth Rhule, known as Louise, and of conspiracy to murder Kerrian Ebanks after a trial in the high court before Justice Hariprashad-Charles. They were sentenced to life imprisonment for murder with eligibility for parole after 35 years, and to a sentence of 10 years imprisonment for conspiracy to murder. The sentences are to run concurrently.
The Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court heard the appeals of both Milton and Campbell against conviction and sentence on January 20, 2012. The Court of Appeal in a judgment dated November 12, 2012 dismissed the appeals against conviction and sentence. Milton and Campbell then appealed to the Privy Council. Campbell appealed his conviction and Milton and Campbell both appealed their sentence.
The Privy Council in their judgment rejected their submissions stating that “the evidence against both Milton and Campbell was overwhelming”.
The judgment states, “There is no doubt that this was a callous and ruthless crime, involving two victims, considerable pre-planning and an attack by three men who went armed with a gun. The sentence was carefully reviewed by the Court of Appeal, which is in a better position than the Board to assess the appropriate level of sentence in the British Virgin Islands and the Board does not consider that it would be right for it to interfere with the Court of Appeal’s judgment”.
The Crown at the Privy Council was represented by Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. Wayne L. Rajbansie and Principal Crown Counsel, Ms. Tiffany R. Scatliffe. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. Rajbansie has stated that he is pleased that justice was upheld which is necessary for a safe society.
The Judicial Committee of The Privy Council is the court of final appeal for the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, and for those Commonwealth countries that have retained the appeal to Her Majesty in Council.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions institutes, undertakes, and discontinues criminal proceedings in the Virgin Islands.