BVI News

Gunman escapes minimum 10-yr sentence for 2016 shooting because of ‘mental challenges’

Not any of the men or the firearm mentioned in the story.

A local man has been sentenced to roughly a half-decade at Her Majesty’s Prison after he shot his friend with a firearm back in 2016.

Kani Hazel will serve four-and-a-half years for the prohibited firearm offence and one year for the unlawful and malicious wounding. 

Both sentences are to run concurrently (at the same time) and will retroactively commence from June 30, 2016 — the date he was first placed on remand.

In handing down the sentence, Justice Ann-Marie Smith said she considered Hazel’s young age of 19 when he committed the offence, his guilty plea, the fact that he had no previous convictions, and what she described as his “precarious mental and physical condition”.

On the other hand, the loaded firearm and the injuries sustained by the reported victim were considered as aggravating factors in this case. 

In explaining the reason for not imposing the mandatory minimum penalty of a decade in prison, the court said it believed “that no useful purpose can be served in imposing the mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and/or $100,000 on this defendant who is mentally and physically challenged”. 

The court added that it would be in the interest of justice to exercise its discretion to impose a lesser penalty as it believes that the imposition of the minimum penalty would be ‘arbitrary and disproportionate’ where the offender is unfit to serve the minimum sentence. 

Facts of the case

It is reported that on June 30, 2016, the convicted man and the gunshot victim (the complainant) got into an argument about the late return of a motor vehicle belonging to the complainant. 

The complainant became upset with the defendant and pushed him. He (the defendant) subsequently left the scene. The complainant went inside his house, and about twenty minutes later, he heard a rattling sound at his front door. He went to open it and saw two hands come inside of the door, with one hand holding the handle of a gun and the other hand pulling back the slide of the firearm. 


The complainant ran towards the door and grabbed the firearm and saw that it was being held by Hazel. Both parties began to wrestle. The firearm reportedly discharged during the struggle and hit the complainant in his abdominal region.

The gunshot victim managed to hit Hazel repeatedly in the head. The fight continued into the yard. The gunshot victim said he stopped hitting Hazel when he noticed the gunman coughing up blood. 

At this point, Hazel (the gunman) picked up the magazine to the firearm which had fallen out of the gun during the struggle and ran away. The gunshot victim was then taken to Peebles Hospital in an ambulance sometime later.

Attorneys Patrick Thompson and Reynela Rawlins represented Hazel.

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  1. Come on says:

    Too many guns on this small island

    Like 23
  2. LB says:

    What does mandatory mean?

    Like 13
  3. WOW says:

    There is a reason there is a mandatory minimum! Not only did this guy have a loaded gun, but he discharged it and injured someone. This judgement is a joke. Does the judge understand what MANDATORY means?

    Like 36
  4. What!!! says:

    Dictionary definition of mandatory is compulsory in simple terms for the learned judge “has to be” no wonder we have a gun problem here .

    Like 24
  5. Pure Bull says:

    Gunman had time to leave but he kept fighting.

  6. Caramel Diva says:

    Sickening, He was so not mental to leave the location and come back and return with a gun.
    Was his intent was to murder the man?

    Shame on the Judge.

    Like 26
  7. Vooduo Child says:

    To many, many, many wicked, evil, evil people living, eating, drinking and sleeping good in this country who have spent decades making other people lives a deprived living hell.

    Those people need to come face to face with the gun and its contents.

  8. Windy says:

    “Local Man” explains the light sentence. Should have been charged with attempted murder.


    “Gunman escapes minimum 10 year sentence for 2016 shooting because he’s a local”….that should have been the headline!!!!
    He was sane enough to know to leave and come back with a gun tho.

  10. Justice System Sucks says:

    I wonder what the judge would have done to the complainant if he had gotten and machete and chopped the gunman the justice system really starting to look like a real joke so she give the gunman another chance to shoot somebody else child and say that he is unfit to serve time. Bunch of jokers.

  11. hmmmm says:

    wondering how can a man leave to go and come back with a loaded gun and shot a man and just get away with a 4yrs sentence and the dude who had bus off the shot up fourth hill get 10yrs nobdoa had got shot …but this dude walk free this place is a joke

  12. Guest says:

    If the facts presented in the article are correct that was attempted murder. No judge in their right mind should have giving him anything less than the mandatory minimum based on the sounds of the case. I really think we may have to start addressing the judges in this country because they are making a mockery of the the judicial system.

  13. Psalms says:

    And he is out in the streets right now. What a waste. No wonder they treat police the way they do. Ai t a hurricane coming next. According to apocalypse, Come and See.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  14. Haha says:

    The whole system is broken. From the judges to the prisons. We got people with phones and toys in jail doing criminal activities while in jail. The judges ignoring mandatory minimums when they feel like then sentencing others with lengthy jail time for minor offences like stealing cheap tv and then others … commit murder but get less than 5 years in jail.The system should be consistent and not like somebody playing eeny meeny miny mo with people’s lives.

  15. MM says:


  16. mehaon says:

    this got to be a joke best them give the other dude wa them say bus off the shot up fourth hill set he free are give him a lester time these peoples in this place God be with ayo!!!!

  17. what? says:

    … aint guns illegal in tola anyway? the gun charge alone should be 10 years.

  18. ???Judge??? says:

    What? No order or conditions set for him to be seek medical attention for his mental health? No probation? Doesn’t sound like justice to me.

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