High Court judge in Jamaica has sentenced a former soldier, Corwyn Arthur, to jail for 15 years after he confessed to stabbing the husband of his ex-lover in 2018.

Justice Sandil Kissoon imposed the sentence on Arthur at the Demerara High Court.

Last month, Arthur was arraigned for the capital offence of murder but opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.

The Court heard that on May 10, 2018, at Amelia’s Ward, Linden, he killed Claude DeJonge, who was at the time asleep with 35-year-old Tanya Samuels.

Arthur gained entry through an open window and confronted him in the bed.

The two ended up in a fight, during which, Arthur dealt DeJonge three stab wounds with a knife while allegedly shouting: “I gone kill you, I want you soul, me gone murder you”.

DeJonge shared a common-law relationship with Samuels for about 11 years. She witnessed the murder alerted neighbours with her screams. DeJonge was found motionless next to the front door in a pool of blood, with stab wounds to his neck, left shoulder and abdomen.

On Monday, a probation report was read in court, which stated that Arthur had an absentee father and had no role model while growing up. At 18, Arthur joined the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and after seven years of service, he left and went into construction.

Arthur’s family described him as “caring and helpful” but noted that he has an anger problem. The prison authorities stated that behind bars, Arthur is helpful and carries the role of an orderly.

His attorney, Rachael Bakke, during plea of mitigation, asked the court to consider that while behind bars, her client has begun the process of turning his life around by attending anger management classes.

However, the state, represented by Tyra Bakker and Lisa Cave, asked the High Court to consider the nature and gravity of the crime and the fact that a weapon was used. In his address to the court, Arthur begged for a second chance and apologised for his actions.

The judge said he considered the prevalence of homicide in society and the need to send a strong message to deter like-minded persons from committing similar acts. He also considered the probation report which was in favour of Arthur.

But Justice Kissoon sentenced Arthur to 15 years imprisonment and ordered that the prison authorities deduct time spent on remand from the sentence.

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