• Gallery Staff

Convicted murderer to spend four years in prison

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

A killer will serve just four years in prison for a fatal stabbing.

The Court of Appeal has refused to disturb the seven-year sentence handed to Claude Gray, 44, who killed Theophilus Mckenzie in a row over the purchase of cocaine rocks in 2007.

This means that after Gray receives credit for good behaviour, he’ll serve the same amount of time as a drug trafficking convict.

However, under current laws, drug convicts don’t receive credit for good conduct.

The prosecution appealed the sentence, arguing that it was too light given the high level of crime.

But the Court of Appeal found no injustice in the sentence and dismissed the appeal.

Gray was 31 years old when he stabbed McKenzie with a screwdriver during an argument at McKenzie’s home on Thompson Lane, off East Street.

Gray was freed on bail in December 2008. He was tried for McKenzie’s murder in 2017.

However, a jury acquitted him of murder and convicted him of manslaughter.

The judge deviated from the recommended sentencing range of 18 to 35 years for manslaughter, reasoning that Gray was capable of rehabilitation.

In passing sentence, the judge said, “You are, therefore, sentenced to seven years imprisonment to take effect from the 11th of December, 2017. In essence, it would mean that if you are to be of good behavior during that period of time, you will receive one third off and therefore you will serve, at that stage, approximately about four years.

“I had to take into consideration that a life was indeed lost but I do believe that you can redeem yourself and that you can be reformed and that you can come out and continue thereafter to be a good and productive citizen and make a valuable contribution to this society.”

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