Sixty-two-year-old Winston Jarrett who pleaded guilty last month to murdering his 18-year-old sister-in-law with whom he was having an affair, was sentenced to 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole in the St James Circuit Court.
Jarrett, who was convicted in the Trelawny Circuit Court on June 30 for the murder of Julanna Whyte, looked on with narrowed eyes and a furrowed brow from the prisoner’s dock as Chief Justice Bryan Sykes read out the long sentence, which will keep him in prison until he is 87-years-old, if he survives.
“To protect society from persons such as yourself, we need to make it clear that going around and committing murder is not a good idea,” Sykes told Jarrett. “I think the appropriate number of years in all the circumstances is 25 years. You are clearly a risk to our citizens, so I have to remove the risk of someone saying, ‘Oh, he’s a wonderful fellow, maybe he should be released on parole.’”
Plea for leniency Attorney Shelly-Ann Hyman, who represented Jarrett at the hearing, pleaded with the court to show leniency to her client as he had grown up under difficult and abusive circumstances, and had not wasted the court’s time.
“Mr Jarrett, unfortunately, would have been abandoned by his mother at a very early age, and he was raised by relatives who, unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, abused him. This offence is a serious one and we know he must spend some time in prison, but I am asking you to be as lenient as possible,” said Hyman.
But Sykes shot down her request, citing Jarrett’s lengthy criminal career that stretched as far back as 1979, and the fact that he had been having an affair with Whyte, despite being married to her sister.
“In 1978, you began your career with shop-breaking in Brown’s Town, St Ann, and got sentenced to 35 days at hard labour. Then in 1985, you were arrested for carnal abuse, for which you got 12 years. From housebreaking to sexual offences to murder, what are the redeeming factors?” asked Sykes.
“Having an affair with your wife’s sister is one thing, but killing her? If you are interested in her, why not divorce your wife and move on to the sister? The solution cannot be to murder her,” Sykes rebuked the silent Jarrett.
According to reports, on January 25, 2020, Whyte’s body was found with her throat slashed. She was previously reported missing. Jarrett subsequently surrendered to the police on February 18, 2020, and was charged with Whyte’s murder.
Jarrett’s 25-year sentence will take effect following the completion of a 28-year sentence, which was slapped on him on July 5 for the 2012 murder of 65-year-old Daniel Wishart. Wishart was stabbed to death following a dispute over payment for a painting job.