Hundreds of residents are expressing outrage and shock at the sentence handed down on Linsome Anthony Boyd, who was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend, Althea Henry.
On Tuesday, March 7, Justice Collin Williams sentenced Boyd to prison terms of 15 years for Henry’s murder and 18 months for wounding her son, Tajmar Francis, with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The sentences will run concurrently – meaning they will be served at the same time and not consecutively.
On February 10, 2023, Boyd admitted his guilt in the two offences.
Although he was initially charged with the attempted murder of Francis, he pleaded not guilty to that charge and guilty to the lesser count of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
He was accused of having taken Henry’s life and seriously wounding her son on Sunday, June 20, 2021. The Jamaican man, who was 58 years old at the time, is said to have slashed Henry’s throat in their Cashew Hill home and later attacked Francis, who was then 21, with a cutlass, wounding him in the head and face.
However members of the public are of the opinion that Henry’s murder was gruesome, and the attack on her son was a wicked act, with both warranting harsher prison sentence.
Among these is United Progressive Party Senator Johnathan Joseph, who tells REAL News he is “so disturbed” by what he sees as Boyd’s light sentence that he could not sleep on Tuesday night.
“I went there. I saw Althea’s body and what had been done to her. I saw what had been done to her son; the scars he will carry for the rest of his life,” Joseph says sorrowfully. “This cannot be right.”
Accordingly, the senator says he will be speaking with his parliamentary colleagues today – International Women’s Day – to see what can be done to bring greater awareness to the issue of domestic violence – “because we can’t continue like this,” he adds.
“Where is the justice?” one woman is asking, while a man views the sentences as a big miscarriage of justice for Henry’s son and the rest of the family. It sends the wrong message to other like-minded persons, he says.
Some people say the incident was not a fight in which one person accidentally was killed; rather, it seemed to have been a premeditated act. Hence, they are asking whether a person’s life means nothing these days.
One woman insists that Boyd deserves a life sentence for Henry’s murder and 15 years for the attack on her son. She says she is hoping that karma will catch up with him after he lives off taxpayers’ money in these coming years.
In this vein, a man adds that Boyd should be deported after serving his sentence.
Other residents are asking why there are no longer life sentences for murder. However, based on the sentencing guidelines by which judges and magistrates are bound, once a guilty plea is entered, the accused person automatically receives a one-third discount off their sentence and another one-third reduction if he or she has no prior convictions.
There are also other determining factors – such as mitigating and aggravating factors and a person’s previous good conduct – that could factor into the court’s consideration before passing a sentence.
Meanwhile, this was not Boyd’s first encounter with the law. In fact, this was his second time being charged with a serious offence.
Back in 2017, he reportedly was charged with attempted murder for trying to kill Henry, whose head he had bashed in and whom he had left for dead, covered with cardboard boxes, in a Radio Range field.
It is alleged that Henry, herself, later begged the authorities for leniency, telling prosecutors she had forgiven Boyd and did not wish to proceed with the matter. The case against him was later dropped, as a result of her request.