(CMR) Sekou Lemumba Litchmore was saved from a 22-month jail sentence on Friday afternoon after Justice Richards felt he had expressed sincere remorse for his actions and was willing to compensate the victim over $25,000 in medical expenses and lost wages. Litchmore, 31, was in court after being found guilty of wounding with intent.
This offense could have landed him in jail for some seven years.
However, after a few of the particulars of this case, the judge sentenced him to 22 months imprisonment to be suspended for 2 years with multiple conditions under the Alternative Sentencing Act.
“In my view, it's a serious one of violence in which the victim was continuously assaulted.”
Litchmore had been working part-time as a DJ since his arrival in the Cayman Islands in 2019. His full-time job is with Sprint Courier Services. It was at his DJing job where the altercation took place, which led to him using a knife to stab another man four times before returning back to the DJ booth, where he continued to play music.
The soon-to-be father of two watched pensively as the judge recapped the damage that was caused after he stabbed a man four times at Everglo Bar in January 2022. One stab wound was 1.5cm in length in the vicinity of his sternum, with others being in the abdominal and umbilical areas.
The matter was categorized as a category 2 offense, and the level of culpability was higher based on the use of a weapon bringing the starting point to 3 years of custody.
Describing the injuries as “serious,” the judge explained that the victim spent a month in the hospital seeking treatment for his injuries and racking up a $21,322.46 hospital bill.
He then had to take another month off work to continue to recover and suffered some $4,160 in lost wages.
The victim's impact statement informed the court that the victim remains fearful of the defendant and also lost his job after extensive time off work. The probation officer's assessment said that the victim had been physically and financially impacted by the incident. The officer noted that he continues to have pain and is unable to work full-time and provide for his family.
The social inquiry report (SIR) found the married defendant appeared genuinely remorseful for his actions and wanted to make amends for his actions. They also noted that he had, had a rough upbringing and was at medium risk for re-offending. His employer, Sprint courier services, provided a good reference for him and described him as a good worker.
The starting point was three years in custody, but consideration was given to his willingness to pay compensation to the victim and the fact that he has a second child on the way.
Litchmore had a previous conviction of assaulting his brother, which was taken into consideration as an aggravating factor. The court also found that there were concerns about the “escalation of offending behavior.” Another aggravating factor was that the assault took place at a liquor-licensed establishment.
The court accepted the recommendation that he undergo a phycological evaluation and ordered it as part of a supervision order. The judge found he did not exercise self-control and his conduct was disproportionate to the provocation. She noted that security guards were available to assist him, but he failed to take advantage of that option. The aggravating factors increased the sentence by three months.
However, he was given some reductions for the mitigating factors, which included his remorse and willingness to provide compensation to the victim for both his hospital bill and his lost wages. She accepted that there was some degree of provocation after the victim became upset over a song request and tried to enter the DJ booth. However, she found that the defendant could have chosen to get assistance with the matter and did not have to resort to violence.
The incident left to the early closure of the bar.
He was ordered to pay the hospital bill over a period of three years on a graduated payment plan starting at $500 for the first year, $700 for the second year, and $925 for the third year. He presented to the court a promissory note agreed with the Health Services Authority (HSA) and an indemnity agreement. Both documents were entered into evidence.
The $4,160 in lost earnings would be paid at a rate of $520 per month for eight months.
Judge Richards informed Litchmore that if he defaulted on the payments in any way, he would be facing a jail sentence of 4 years and 6 months for the hospital bill and 6 months imprisonment for the lost wages. The court staff was instructed to inform the HSA of their obligation to inform the court immediately of any missed payments.
The supervision order requires him to participate in an anger management program and submit to random drug testing and be available to any other program that might be suggested by the probation officer. He is also prohibited from coming within 20 yards of the victim and ordered to complete 240 hours of community service within two years.
Litchmore has lived in the Cayman Islands since 2019 and has held a number of jobs.