Owen Davies QC and Maya Sikand secure reprieve in Privy Council capital case

Monday 27 June 2011

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Tabeel Lewis (Appellant) v The State (Respondent) [2011] UKPC 15

On 15 June 2011, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council delivered judgment in a capital case in which two Garden Court crime barristers acted. The case of Tabeel Lewis was remitted to the Court of Appeal of Trinidad & Tobago on fresh medical evidence.

Tabeel Lewis was convicted of the murder of Dayah Ramsook in 2003 at the age of 18 and received a mandatory sentence of death. His appeal to the Court of Appeal of Trinidad and Tobago was rejected in May 2007. He then appealed to the Privy Council against both his conviction and sentence.

Their Lordships' Board dismissed the grounds on conviction and held that the judge was entitled not to have left the defence of provocation to the jury. However, the Board went on to find that fresh psychiatric and psychological evidence should now be considered and the case has been remitted to the Court of Appeal in Trinidad & Tobago who will need to decide if there is now evidence of provocation fit for consideration by the jury.

Read the full judgment here

Owen Davies QC and Maya Sikand are both members of the Garden Court Crime Team. They were instructed pro bono by Simons Muirhead & Burton to represent Mr. Lewis in the Privy Council. The Death Penalty Project also assisted Mr Lewis in his Privy Council appeal.

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