Prison boss says murder convict Kenworth Charles is “model inmate”

Convicted murderer Kenworth Charles
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By Latrishka Thomas

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The Superintendent of the country’s lone penal institution yesterday provided the High Court with an insight into the rehabilitation programmes in place that could assist with addressing the alcoholism of a murderer.

Justice Colin Williams is tasked with sentencing Kenworth Charles, a man who was found guilty of killing former soldier Fitzroy Robins in 2020.

But Charles is said to be battling an affliction that causes him to become extremely aggressive.

In February 2023, a jury convicted Charles, a former IT technician at the hospital, of murder.

Charles and the deceased first met at a bar, months before the tragic night.

An altercation ensued when Charles refused to pay for beers he took from a woman’s cooler and tried to leave, but was stopped by Robins who approached him armed with a knife and asked him to pay for the drinks, which he did.

The accused never returned to that location again until July 24 2020 when the two bumped into each other for the second time.

An argument ensued between Charles and Robins and they began to scuffle.

Charles, of Newfield, stabbed Robins several times with a knife.

The defendant’s counsel argued in trial that his client was intoxicated and did not intend to kill Robins.

The jury however believed that the incident was not an accident, and found Charles guilty of murder.

Persons from Charles’ community and a probation officer subsequently suggested that the man suffers from alcoholism and needs help.

Yesterday, Lieutenant Colonel Trevor Pennyfeather therefore sought to give the court an idea of what can be done to assist Charles whom he described as “one of the better inmates; a model inmate”.

According to the newly appointed prison boss, the Ministry of Social Transformation works closely with His Majesty’s Prison where rehabilitation is concerned.

He said that there are also a resident doctor and a psychiatrist at the institution.

In addition, he spoke to an ongoing academic programme and plans to implement others.

Pennyfeather also shared that Charles’ skills have been and can be useful in the prison’s IT department.

And noting that Charles is “one of those you can task to do anything” and “has never been found with drugs or alcohol”, Pennyfeather expressed the willingness of the prison to help the convict overcome his condition.

Justice Williams set the prisoner’s sentencing hearing for July 21 to give himself time to review the matter.

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