(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – Livingston Caine, the juror accused of offering $500,000 to the foreman to influence other jurors to return a not guilty verdict in the murder trial against dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel, has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment at hard labour.
However, he is to spend nine months in prison as he was remanded on December 13, 2022, after he was found guilty of attempting to perverting the course of justice, and that was added as time spent.
The sentence was handed down by Parish Judge Maxine Ellis in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Thursday after being postponed twice due to Caine’s illness that had landed him in hospital. A social inquiry report, which was requested by the defence team and was not prepared, also stalled the sentencing.
During the sentencing, Ellis spoke about the seriousness of the offence.
“Justice is a pillar on which any civilization is built… no one should be allowed to interfere with an investigation,” the judge said.
She added that she considers this charge to be a “serious matter” and of public interest.
A sentencing hearing was held on Wednesday at which time Caine’s sister and daughter stood as character witnesses. They testified that Caine is a humble “family man” and a “very good father.”
Caine was on bail for eight years, however, it was revoked by Ellis on December 13.
Caine is represented by defence attorney Valerie Neita-Robertson, KC.
Kartel was ultimately found guilty, along with Kahiro Jones, Andre St John, and Shawn Campbell for killing Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams in August 2011, at a house in Havendale, St Andrew.
Jeffery Reid, attorney holding for Neita-Robertson, made a bail application for Caine on humanitarian grounds due to a wound on his right leg.
He argued that Caine’s wound is not being properly cared for as he had already missed a hospital visit on Monday.
However, the judge pointed out that Caine was in court on Monday and should have informed the court if he had a medical appointment.
The judge highlighted to the attorney that “nothing in the medical report”, dated March 3, indicated that Caine had a medical appointment.
But, Reid continued his application, stating that Caine had no previous convictions and prior to being remanded in December, had adhered to his bail conditions. Reid also stated that Caine is not a flight risk.
However, the application was denied.
Ellis advised Reid that he can make another application at the next level in the judicial system.