A Superior Court judge in St. Vincent has sentenced a 26-year-old man to more than 17 years in prison for mistakenly killing a woman he thought was infected with HIV.

Judge Brian Cottle sentenced Dezron Roberts, who has been in prison for four years, to an additional 17 years, five months and 11 days in prison pending sentencing.

On June 27 this year, Robert pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering Rhodesia Rochelle Bailey between October 24 and 27, 2018.

The court heard that Roberts, then 22, had sex with Bailey, 30. In the year On July 16, 2018, Bailey told Roberts she was HIV positive, and two days later he went to a doctor who advised him to get HIV treatment and get tested after exposure.

Roberts began a course of the medication, but felt some of the side effects were too severe and did not fully comply with the prescription. He suffered from severe depression and thought about suicide but was afraid to tell anyone about his problem for fear of the backlash he might receive.

However, he continued his sexual relationship with Bailey and in October 2018, he decided to kill her, thinking she was infected with HIV. On October 25, 2018, he went to Bailey’s home with a knife. When she lies in only her underwear, Roberts tells her he’s coming to kill her.

Bailey tells Roberts she’s not afraid to die, and he puts down a knife and starts strangling her. Bailey tries to reach for the knife but is unsuccessful and Robert continues to try to strangle her.

Unsatisfied with his attempt to take Bailey’s life this way, Robert picks up a knife and stabs Bailey, holding him as she pleads for her life. Roberts stabbed her several times before she let go. Bailey runs from the house but falls nearby.

Robert goes home and a passer-by finds Bailey’s body the next morning.

An autopsy revealed she died of multiple stab wounds.

After being arrested, Roberts kills Bailey and takes them home.

In sentencing Roberts, Judge Cottle said there is no need to abandon the guidelines for the purposes of criminal punishment, such as retribution, deterrence, deterrence, rehabilitation, and that the court should follow a sentencing guideline unless it is unfair in a particular case. .

Judge Cottle went on to say that the court could sentence an adult charged with murder to the death penalty, a full life sentence or a fixed sentence.

He said there was a lot of suspicion involved in the murder, saying Roberts took the knife to the scene and told him he was coming to kill the victim.

The judge said the social inquiry report showed Roberts had grown up without parental guidance and had been abused by a carer. He dropped out in Volume 3.

Judge Cottle said he found that Roberts did not have the coping skills or social support network to deal with the consequences of having HIV and the associated social isolation. Roberts said it was unfortunate that when faced with crises, he could only see the option of violence. But he said he doesn’t see Roberts being upset again.

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