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Murderer Saltus must serve at least 25 years

A “remorseless” gunman was jailed for life yesterday for the murder of wheelchair-bound Lorenzo Stovell.

Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons ordered that Travone Saltus, 30, serve at least 15 years of the sentence before he became eligible for parole.

She also ordered that a ten-year sentence for the use of a firearm in the killing should run consecutively with minimum murder term.

Mrs Justice Simmons said time already served in custody should be taken into account.

The court heard earlier the shooting, which happened as Mr Stovell sat in a party bus outside Woody's Bar in Sandys, “shattered” Mr Stovell's family.

Laurie Stovell, Mr Stovell's sister, wrote in a victim impact statement: “It was a joy to see him happy. He had been so depressed being in a wheelchair.

“He was determined to walk again by the time my son could walk.”

She added that he had pleaded with him to get off the bus before it went to Woody's.

But she said Mr Stovell told her: “The worst they could do is kill me.”

Ms Stovell added: “They are words that I will never ever forget.”

She said when she heard about the shooting and saw that the bus was gone, she knew what had happened. Ms Stovell said: “I knew my brother was dead. I knew in my heart and soul.”

She added: “The trial process resurfaced all the pain I felt.

“I still have no emotions towards the verdict. I do not get my brother back, now another family has to feel similar pain.

“No one wins in this situation.”

Mrs Justice Simmons said the jury believed the evidence given by witness Troy Harris, who said Saltus had confessed the murder to him.

She added: “The jury no doubt found that your murderous conduct was instigated by your membership in a gang, your need to demonstrate fidelity to that gang and that the gang has a requirement to ‘put in work'.”

Mrs Justice Simmons said that Saltus had no serious previous convictions, but the shooting was aggravated by Mr Stovell's disability.

Mrs Justice Simmons said: “It meant he was especially vulnerable to an MOB attack that night.

“This was a gang-related attack, and you showed no remorse when you boasted to Mr Harris.”

Mr Stovell, 24 and confined to a wheelchair as a result of an earlier shooting, was killed just after 10pm on September 23, 2012.

The court heard that Mr Stovell was on the bus with friends and that it stopped outside Woody's.

The other passengers left the bus for the bar, but Mr Stovell remained in the vehicle with the driver. Mr Stovell was shot at through the window of the bus and suffered several gunshot wounds.

The bus driver sped away to try to get the wounded man treatment, but Mr Stovell died of his injuries.

Prosecutors alleged that Saltus killed Mr Stovell amid a tit-for-tat series of shootings in an effort to rise through the ranks of a West End gang.

Mr Harris said Saltus told him in May 2013 if he wanted to establish himself in the gang, he would have to “put work in” and admitted that he had shot Mr Stovell to advance himself.

Saltus was tried and convicted of the killing last year, but the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial over the evidence of Mr Harris.

Carrington Mahoney, Crown counsel, said in the retrial that Mr Harris's evidence was supported by the testimony of other witnesses.

He told the court Mr Harris had nothing to gain by giving evidence other than a clean conscience.

But Mr Horseman said Mr Harris was an unreliable witness and argued that many of the details he provided could be found in media coverage of the shooting.

Mr Horseman highlighted Mr Harris's long list of previous convictions and suggested he was trying to protect the real gunman.

He added that there was no forensic evidence to link Saltus to the shooting or any witnesses that put him in the area when the shooting happened.

Saltus told the court he had gone to Woody's that night, but left before Mr Stovell was shot because he was felt ill.

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Convicted murderer: Travone Saltus

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Published October 02, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated October 02, 2018 at 9:02 am)

Murderer Saltus must serve at least 25 years

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