186 / Criminal Practice and Procedure
(1988) 25 JLR 221. The complaint by the prosecution was that the
appellant was traveling in a pick-up on January 5, 1988 and the complainant
was also traveling in that pick-up. The prosecution said that there was a
dispute between the parties and the complainant is alleged to have used
insulting words to the appellant referring to her body odour, whereupon
she took a knife and inflicted an injury to his finger and an injury to his
right leg and his right lower foot. When she was spoken to by somebody,
said the prosecution, her remark was ‘a should a kill you’, referring to the
The appellant gave an explanation and her explanation was that she had
a knife on her on that day because in her occupation she has to carry large
sums of money. As she was riding in this pick-up she felt a foot touching
her private parts and she asked the person to move the foot. The person
rather than removing the foot put it back and then she noticed that it was
the foot of the complainant. She said she spoke to him a second time and
he used dirty words referring to her private parts. She said he kicked her in
the region of her private parts and then she lost control and the injuries
were inflicted. Rowe, P. in delivering the judgment said,
The rule of law is that when a person pleads guilty, the learned trial
judge, as the tribunal of fact, should sentence on the set of facts which
are most favourable to the accused.
Where either the accused pleads guilty or he is tried and found guilty he
has to be sentenced by the Court. The accused is usually asked, ‘Do you
have anything to say before the sentence of the court is passed upon you?’
At this stage counsel for the defence will make a plea in mitigation.
Counsel for the defence, or if the accused is unrepresented, the accused
himself, will attempt to secure the least sentence from the Court. Usually
in a plea of mitigation the defence will refer to the following where
(a) The fact that the accused has no previous conviction.
(b) The fact that the accused pleaded guilty.
(c) The fact that no violence was actually used.
(d) The fact that the accused was of good character prior to his conviction
(and may call character witnesses to this effect).
(e) Family background of accused including the number of dependents