Murderer jailed for 35 years
Shantoine Prinston Burrows must serve at least 35 years in prison before being eligible for parole for the murder of Rickai Swan at Southampton Rangers Sports Club.
Handing down the sentence shortly before 5pm yesterday, Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons said Mr Burrows showed “some premeditation” in committing the murder and displayed the “mindset of a person intent on killing”.
She described video capturing the murder played during his trial as “chilling”.
Mr Burrows must serve a minimum sentence of 25 years for the murder. His ten-year sentence for use of a firearm in committing the murder does not start until after the 25 years for the murder has passed, Mrs Justice Simmons said.
Mr Burrows, 25, was convicted in October 2016 of the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Mr Swan, who was socialising with friends outside of the club. He was also found guilty of injuring Damiko Gibbons.
During the three-week trial, the court heard how Burrows left the scene of the crime on a motorcycle that he abandoned on Spice Hill Road in Warwick.
His DNA and traces of gunshot residue were discovered on the bike following forensic tests.
A jury found Burrows unanimously guilty of the charges last year and he was remanded in custody.
In her sentencing statement, Crown counsel Nicole Smith described the murder of Mr Swan as a “public execution”, which displayed “no mitigating circumstances”.
She described Mr Burrows as “not a man of good character”, devoid of respect for the law or remorse for his crime.
Three victim impact statements — from Mr Swan's mother, brother and his girlfriend — were read during Monday's sentencing.
Mr Burrow's defence lawyer, Marc Daniels, said he could “see light” in his client.
“He's not someone you can castigate as the epitome of evil,” he said.
Addressing the court, Mr Burrows maintained his innocence.
“I still stand before you an innocent man,” he said.
“Justice wasn't served.”
Looking at Mr Swan's mother sitting in the gallery, he said he was “sympathetic and deeply sorry” for her loss.
“I ask that you don't hate me,” he said.
He requested from Mrs Justice Simmons as much leniency as the law allowed.
On sentencing, Burrows showed little emotion and the courtroom remained quiet.
“I do not expect anyone to do or say anything,” Mrs Justice Simmons said to those in attendance in the courtroom before delivering her sentence.
Mr Swan's mother and father both declined a request by The Royal Gazette for comment following the sentence being handed down.
Ms Smith and Mr Daniels also chose not to comment.
During the trial, jurors heard evidence from several who were at the club on the evening of the shooting on October 23, 2015.
According to one of those eye witnesses, Burrows approached Mr Swan from behind and shot him four times.
Prosecutors also said that on the night of the murder, Burrows had been getting ready to go out when he stated to friends that he could not carry a passenger because if the police stopped him he would shoot and the passenger would get in the way. When the group got to St Anne's Road, Burrows told his friends that he was going to handle his business.
He was convicted for the murder, using a firearm to commit murder, wounding Mr Gibbons with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm and using a firearm to commit that offence.