Mello ‘learns lesson’ after stabbing neighbour

A Pembroke man who stabbed a neighbour in the shoulder during a row about a noisy kite will be sentenced this afternoon in the Supreme Court.

Kevin Mello, 38, pleaded guilty earlier this year to wounding Joshua Madeiros on December 18, 2018, stabbing him twice in the shoulder with a white-handled kitchen knife.

He also admitted sending a death threat to Peter Clark on August 9, 2017, and stalking Laura Trott by sending her electronic messages between May and July of that year.

Cindy Clarke, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, called for Mello to be jailed for 20 months for his “unwarranted and unpredictable” actions.

But Charles Richardson, the lawyer for Mello, said an untreated mental health issue, which played a role in the actions, meant a prolonged prison sentence could do more harm than good.

Mello apologised for his actions, telling the court: “I have learnt my lesson. It shouldn’t happen any more.”

Ms Clarke told the court the stabbing was the culmination of a long dispute between Mello and his “kite enthusiast” neighbours, and Mello often complained about the noise caused by the kites.

She said on December 18, 2018, Mr Madeiros put up a kite with a noisemaking “hummer”.

At about 2pm that day, Mr Madeiros heard his family shout out that someone was throwing rocks at the kite. He then went to Mello’s house to confront him.

Ms Clarke said: “At this time the defendant struck the complainant twice in his left shoulder.

“After feeling the pain from the attack, the complainant noticed the defendant had in his hand a white-handled kitchen knife.”

Ms Clarke said the other offences were sparked by a separate incident in February 2017 while Mello was working as a bouncer at the Cosmopolitan nightclub.

She said Mello had clashed with a man hired by an event organiser to provide security for a private event at the club.

After the incident, Mello sent Ms Trott, the event organiser, a deluge of messages demanding the name of the security guard who he had the confrontation with.

In the messages he threated to slash the security guard’s face and promised to “get revenge on anyone involved”. He then began to post on public Facebook pages, insulting her and her business.

The court heard Mr Clark messaged Mello about the posts and threats — and on August 9, Mello threatened to kill Mr Clark and slash his throat in a Facebook post.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Clark said Mello later used Facebook to make contact with both his wife and daughter to make similar threats.

Ms Clarke told the court a psychological assessment found that Mello was suffering from a mental disorder, but that it did not diminish his criminal responsibility.

She called for a sentence of 16 months for the threats against Mr Clark, six months for the stalking of Ms Trott and 20 months for the wounding of Mr Madeiros, given his guilty plea.

But she said that sentence should be followed by a period of probation which requires Mello to receive treatment for his mental health issues.

Mr Richardson argued that the same psychological report warned that a prolonged period of incarceration would pose a risk to Mello’s mental health.

He said Mello and his neighbours had been frustrated about the noise from kites for more than a decade but Mello’s condition had reduced his impulse control.

“We have a man with a mental health disorder who for years has shouted at them to stop flying kites with hummers on them,” he said.

“I have a similar neighbour. It’s annoying. After 15 years, could you even imagine the effect that it has had on him?”

Mr Richardson suggested a sentence of no more than 16 months and reminded the court that Mello had been in custody for nine months.

Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons adjourned the matter until this afternoon.

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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