Victim’s father reveals pain and heartache’
The grieving family of Raymond Butterfield yesterday told of his pride at becoming a father for the first time just weeks before he was stabbed to death.
Victim impact statements from Mr Butterfield’s father Raymond Butterfield Sr and his daughter’s mother Shaundae Hollis were read out in Supreme Court as Mikiel Thomas was jailed for 12 years for the manslaughter of Mr Butterfield.
The court heard that Mr Butterfield’s daughter was just three months old when her father died. Raymond Sr said in his statement: “No parent should ever have to bury their child — it is the most anguishing, heart-wrenching pain I have ever experienced.
“The grief, sorrow, pain and heartache will never end. This is just the beginning of a new life; one that I never imagined.
“March 5 was the worst day of my life — I lost my only child to a senseless act of violence. I lost my best friend and business partner.
“Words cannot express the impact of his death.
“Ray had just become a proud father to a beautiful little girl — he took his responsibility very seriously.”
Ms Hollis added: “No words can describe what my daughter and I will feel for the rest of our lives. Ray was the love of my life; it hurts every day he is not here.
“He was a loving, peaceful and hardworking person who loved football.
“The defendant deserves to serve a long amount of time. He has stolen my daughter’s father.
“No one should have to go through what we have and nothing can bring back Ray.”
Thomas, 19, was earlier cleared by a jury of murdering Mr Butterfield, but found guilty of manslaughter by a unanimous verdict.
Mr Butterfield, 28, died after being stabbed twice in the chest during a fight with Thomas in the street outside Blue Waters Anglers Club in Hamilton on March 5.
Jurors heard that Thomas, a Bermuda Under-20 footballer, who had only recently returned from international duty, stabbed Mr Butterfield in a dispute that began when a woman in the club refused the offer of a drink.
A witness told the court that the two men brawled in the street outside the club.
The witness, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said that on the night of the stabbing she had been at the club with several friends.
As they went to leave the club, someone in the bar bought them shots.
When one of the friends refused the drink, another person in the bar insulted her and the witness got into an argument with Mr Butterfield before walking out of the club.
She told jurors that she crossed the street, where she saw Thomas and other members of his football team, who asked her why she was upset.
When she refused to answer, she said the group crossed the street and an argument broke out between the group and those that were in the club.
The court was told the argument escalated when Mr Butterfield punched Thomas and threw a bottle at him.
Mr Butterfield went back into the club, while the witness said Thomas crossed the street and sat on a bench.
Mr Butterfield came out of the club minutes later and the two ran at each other and collided in the middle of the street.
Although the incident was caught on CCTV, defence lawyer Kamal Worrell suggested that Thomas was not the man who clashed with Mr Butterfield and that the witness had been dishonest. Thomas chose not to give evidence at trial.
But Thomas took full responsibility for Mr Butterfield’s death in a Social Inquiry Report prepared before sentence was passed.
He told the court yesterday: “I would like to send my condolences to the family of the deceased and express my deep sorrow. This incident does not define me as a person. I hope that we can move forward from this together.
“We live and learn and I have learnt that nobody wins. Everyone suffers.”
• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.
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