Barbados Today:- The man who stabbed Police Constable Shayne Welch 19 times over three years ago says “What I have done is horrendous and appalling and nothing I do or say can change that no matter how I wish for it to be different.”
Applon Ishmael Ithamar Parris made the statement today as he apologized for his actions and explained that while he “acknowledge, accept and understand” the seriousness of the offence that he committed, the deadly result on the morning of March 26, 2018 was never his intent.
“It was never in my thoughts or in my intentions that day to take anyone’s life or for that matter to cause the pain and anguish suffered by the deceased’s family, the members of the Royal Barbados Police Force and also my wife,” he told a virtual sitting of the No. 2 Supreme Court this morning.
He added: “I am so sorry for causing the death of Shayne Welch.”
Parris, of Taitt’s Road, Britton’s Hill, St Michael, previously pleaded guilty to non-capital murder for stabbing the 31-year-old Welch, 19 times in his Kingsland, Christ Church driveway.
“I have seen the devastating pain I have caused by my actions,” the cop killer said, adding that at the time he was only seeking answers from his wife.
“On that day I had only sought to seek the truth of my wife’s whereabouts and I wanted proof then afterwards that she was cheating on me. I had already lost my son due to complications with his lungs and I feared that I was losing her too.
“So when I saw her in his home, in his bed I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I lost control of my emotions at that moment,” said Parris who explained that he had always had issues with anger management as well as “impulsivity” and had sought help to control them.
“But that day I had struggled so hard not to lose control of my anger but still I did. All I wanted was to know why my wife had done what she did. All I wanted was answers. I never wanted to cause someone’s death and now I have to live with that fact for the rest of my life and for that I am so very sorry.
“I am so sorry for causing the death of Shayne Welch. I hope his family and friends can find it within their hearts to forgive me.”
The utility knife used to cut short Welch’s life, Parris said, was one that he usually kept in his tool bag in the event something went wrong with his motorcycle, which he said was the case when the chain on the vehicle snapped.
“So when I had to retrieve my tool bag to fix my bike, the knife was already in it and when I had fixed my bike and found myself by Shayne’s residence I still had the bag on my back.
“I truly regret what I did and all that has happened and I’m sorry for all the pain and hurt that I have caused. I am sorry and I apologise to the members of his family for what I did. I am sorry and I apologise to the members of the Royal Barbados Police Force for the loss of a valued member and a close brother and to my wife, I am sorry for the trauma I have caused and for the embarrassment I have caused you. You deserve better and I hope that you and everyone that I have caused hurt can forgive me. Please forgive me.”
Hopeful that what he had said would be “accepted and considered” Parris urged Justice Randall Worrell to “have mercy” on him and grant him leniency.
“Yes I have accepted that justice has to be meted out and I will accept the consequences of my action but I would also like to have some youth left in me when I am to leave prison so I can continue with my pursuit of knowledge and use the skills that I have learnt prior to my imprisonment.
“I am at your mercy here today Your Honour and . . . I am also afraid. I never imagined that I would find myself in circumstances like this in my life. However, I am striving forward to be a better person, a better man, so that when I eventually leave prison I can go back to the productive member of society I once was.
“Your Honour I am begging you that whatever justice is meted out here today is fair and just, that’s all I am asking for Your Honour and a second chance at the appropriate time.”
Following his address to the court Parris’ attorney Safiya Moore mitigated on his behalf.
She submitted that Parris’ situation does not fall into the category where a death sentence should be imposed. His matter , she said, also does not cross the threshold for the imposition of a life sentence although the threshold for a custodial sentence had “definitely” been passed.
Moore further submitted that a starting sentence in the range of 20 to 25 years could be imposed for the crime.
Director of Public Prosecutions Donna Babb Agard Q.C. will respond to the submissions next Tuesday.