Serial crook blames family abuse for life of crime
Defence lawyer for the St Ann senior citizen who was on Monday sentenced to life in prison for stabbing a man to death over money has blamed his descent into a life of crime on parental neglect.
The decision was handed down while he awaits sentencing for murdering his teenage relative in an unrelated incident.
The 61-year-old serial convict, Winston Jarrett, who has 15 previous convictions, was sentenced in the Home Circuit Court for the murder of 65-year-old Daniel Wishart in Kingston in March 2012.
Justice Lorna Shelly Williams, who handed down the sentence, accepted a recommendation for Jarrett to serve 28 years in prison before being eligible for parole under a plea deal.
The married father of eight children, who has been committing crimes since 1978 when he was first jailed for 35 days for shop-breaking and larceny, has convictions for indecent assault, carnal abuse, forgery, and wounding. The offences were committed in Kingston and St Ann.
However, he was slapped with suspended sentences for the fraud-related charges in 1995 and in 1985 served his longest prison stint, a 12-year term for two counts of carnal abuse. His last conviction was in the St Ann Circuit Court for carnal abuse where he received a suspended sentence after serving two two-year prison sentence in 1997 for shop-breaking and larceny and unlawful wounding.
However, before he was sentenced on Monday, his lawyer Tamika Harris, in her plea-in-mitigation, told the judge that her client was raised in an unstable environment in which he was abused by his aunt.
Harris also told the court that Jarrett’s mother was not active in his life and that the only thing he knew about his father was his name.
“He was failed. He was a victim as a child and what we see is a cycle continuing,” the attorney said.
“If adults fail the child, it is not surprising that the child grows up and fails society.”
Harris, while acknowledging the aggravating factors and Jarrett’s long rap sheet, asked the judge to consider that he had always been an industrious worker when he was not behind bars.
According to facts outlined in court, Jarrett planned Wishart’s murder after he repeatedly refused to pay Jarrett for a house-painting job they had agreed on in December 2011.
Jarrett, who had sought the help of an accomplice, Travoy McKoy, on March 18, 2012, went to Wishart’s employer’s residence where he cornered Wishart in the storeroom with a dagger and stabbed him multiple times.
Wishart, who was stabbed by Jarrett even after falling to the ground, was then left in the room with McKoy.
Jarrett had gone to Wishart’s employer’s residence to clean a carpet and had brought McKoy.
Following the incident, Jarret was arrested at his home on April 11, 2012. He told police then that he had wanted to report the matter but was fearful and blamed the murder on his co-accused.
However, he was later charged and released on bail but absconded. He was rearrested in February 2020 following the murder of his sister-in-law, Julanna Whyte, 18, the previous month.
Jarrett later pleaded guilty to Wishart’s murder on March 22 this year in a plea deal.
According to the post-mortem, Wishart had six stab wounds, four cut wounds, one chop wound, and two abrasions to the neck, shoulder, chest and lungs.
In the other matter, Jarrett pleaded guilty to Whyte’s January 2020 murder in the Trelawny Circuit Court on June 30 and is to be sentenced on July 15.
The teenager, who was reportedly in a relationship with Jarrett, was viciously stabbed to death in a fit of jealousy and left in bushes in Trelawny after being trailed by the offender from St Ann. She was found with multiple stab wounds and her throat was slashed.