35 years for Leslie Pipersburgh and Patrick Robateau


Leslie Pipersburgh and Patrick Robateau, two men convicted of a double murder, have finally been given a fixed sentence. Both men received sentences of thirty-five years but because they have already spent ten years on remand, they are left with twenty-five years to take effect from April 2011, when they were initially found guilty. Pipersburgh and Robateau were accused of killing two security guards of Bowen and Bowen, Fidel Mai and Kevin Alvarez. The incident happened in June 2002 when a robbery at Bowen & Bowen Limited escalated into a bloodbath ending in the death of Alvarez and Mai. Two city residents, Cherrie Tucker and David Flores, were also shot. Pipersburgh and Robateau were former employees of the company and at their first trial in 2004, they were found guilty. Their case was later appealed and it went all the way to the Privy Council, which ordered a retrial. It was on April 8, 2011 that the men learnt their fate, not guilty of the murder of Flores and Tucker but guilty of the murder of Mai and Alvarez.
On October 11, 2019, Justice Colin Williams, in the presence of their attorney, Hector Guerra, explained the new circumstances. The Justice referred to new guidelines by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in the cases of Alwyn Gabb and Gregory August, in which the CCJ determined that inmates convicted of murder must be given fixed sentences. The Justice also recounted the date of the incident. In his view, the men acted in a horrific way when there was no provocation, calling the murder a “wicked and senseless shooting”. He then looked at what the defense asked him to consider, which is that the defendants have reformed and have shown remorse. He says that while the actual murder of the security guards was not planned, the men should have foreseen that life would have been lost. Justice Williams took into consideration that at the time of the murder, Robateau was twenty-five and Pipersburgh was forty-four and that they still have years ahead to contribute to society. As such, he handed down a thirty-five-year sentence, less time served.
Also recently given a fixed sentence is Jeremy Harris. Having already served seventeen years behind bars, he is looking at an additional eight years for the murder of Phillip Chin in 2002. Wayne Martinez, who was convicted for the murder of Rene Castillo in 2005, is looking at twenty years before he is eligible for parole. In the case of Miguel Herrera, who is convicted for the murder of Mirna Figueroa in 2007, he was sentenced to thirty-five years before he is eligible for parole. Phillip Tillett, who is behind bars for the 2003 murder of Kirk Gentle, is looking at twenty-five years before he can seek parole.