Crown can appeal Whitehurst sentence

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A man’s ten-year jail term for the manslaughter of Travis Lowe can be challenged by the Crown after the courts granted leave to appeal.

The Crown had originally called for 16 to 20 years’ imprisonment for Keythio Whitehurst, found guilty in July 2017 in the death of Mr Lowe.

Gang rivalry was cited in the case, in which Mr Lowe, 23, was fatally injured after a motorcycle chase in July 2016.

Mr Lowe hit an oncoming van on Camp Hill Road in Southampton. Security cameras in the vicinity showed Whitehurst taunting the fallen man, and subsequent comments by Whitehurst to a fellow gang member via social media took credit for causing his death.

Mr Lowe succumbed to his injuries a week later in hospital.

Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons accepted the gang evidence, but was not persuaded to go beyond the ten to 12-year range, and ultimately set sentencing at seven to ten years.

In the Court of Appeal ruling dated February 5, 2018, the Crown again called for a 16 to 20-year term based on “the gang evidence heard by the jury to further illustrate the intentional element” in the killing.

Defence counsel submitted that there was no evidence to show that Whitehurst intended harm prior to the collision that caused Mr Lowe’s death.

However the ruling, handed down by Shade Subair Williams, the Registrar, found sufficient cause for the Court of Appeal to review the sentencing range, based on evidence suggesting the intent of harm.

She found that Whitehurst’s “aggressive and dangerous chase of the deceased, coupled with his numerous remarks which started immediately following the fatal collision”, adequately supported an argument that the evidence showed an intent to cause harm, and the Crown’s application for leave to appeal was granted.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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