Former Barbados Attorney General to Canadians: It’s none of your business how we punish Schwarzfeld’s killer – You’ll still come here for vacations anyway

“What we have to do, from the very beginning, is respect other people’s judicial system,”

“The country has had incidents like this before, and our tourism product has withstood them. Besides, when a judge makes a decision, Barbados’ tourism product is completely extraneous to that decision…”

Former Barbados Attorney General (and sometimes punching bag) Dale Marshall gives a lesson to Canadians as he talks about foreign criticism surrounding the sentencing of a tourist-killer.

Empathy? Sympathy? Public Relations in the real world? – Dale Marshall hasn’t a clue

Dale Marshall, former Attorney General under the defeated BLP government has a message for Canadians who are critical of the 10 year sentence given to the killer of Terry Schwarzfeld: Hey Canadians: None of your business, and whatever you think it won’t impact Canadian tourism in Barbados anyway.

Yup. That pretty well sums up what Dale Marshall said to The Nation when asked to comment upon the fact that some of the Canadian newspapers are critical of the 10 year sentence handed out by Justice Worrell to the killer of tourist Terry Schwarzfeld.

A pity that Marshall didn’t say something politic like, “I am unable to comment on the particular sentence, but all Bajans grieve what happened to Terry Schwarzfeld. We were shocked at this terrible crime and we ask our Canadian friends to remember that this was done by a single individual with a history of anti-social behaviour against others. We are grateful to the personnel of the Royal Barbados Police Force who worked long and hard to arrest Curtis Joel Foster and bring him to justice. Once again, our sincere condolences to the family of Terry Schwarzfeld. I never had the opportunity of meeting this remarkable person, but it is obvious that she is sorely missed by her family, her friends and her community.”


Nope. Marshall couldn’t say something appropriate. He just had to give the Canadians a lesson in respecting the independence of the Bajan courts that was the equivalent of “bugger off”.

Freaking idiot.

Marshall never was very media-capable. When US authorities took down the builders of Barbados’ new prison – Alaska-based VECO – for decades of corruption and paying off politicians in exchange for contracts, Marshall met with VECO officials for 30 minutes and then announced Ever-ting’ fine here!

So… how’s the jaw doing Mr. Marshall? Rumour has it that ice works better than rum. 🙂

Here is the article from The Nation. As usual we repeat it here in full because that newspaper (like the Barbados Advocate) has a habit of erasing the past when politically expedient. You should head over to their website to read the article, but if it’s missing you’ll find it here…

Ten Rapped (link to The Nation online article)

by BARRY ALLEYNE

THE DECISION BY A BARBADIAN JUDGE to sentence a confessed killer to ten years in jail has come under serious international scrutiny. But a former attorney general says this country’s judicial sentencing system remains beyond reproach, and foreigners simply need to respect the jurisprudence and judicial system of countries outside their own.

On Monday, Justice Randall Worrell sentenced Curtis Joel Foster to ten years in jail for the unlawful killing of 60-year-old Teresa Schwarzfeld, a Canadian tourist, on March 18 last year. Foster had attempted to rob the woman and her daughter-in-law by using a mock firearm, but then ran down both with a piece of wood, hitting each in the head.

Schwarzfeld was airlifted from Barbados suffering from severe brain trauma and succumbed to her injuries in Ottawa on March 18, 2009.
“What we have to do, from the very beginning, is respect other people’s judicial system,” former attorney general Dale Marshall told the MIDWEEK NATION in an exclusive interview yesterday.

“What I can tell you, is that Barbados is not a country known for being easy on criminals when it comes to sentencing them for whatever crime.”

Marshall noted that judges simply don’t come up with sentences willy-nilly, and said he was sure Justice Worrell weighed all his legal options before sentencing 25-year-old Foster, of Bayfield, St Philip.

According to Marshall, the sentencing of Foster should in no way affect Barbados’ steadily improving ties to its Canadian market. “The country has had incidents like this before, and our tourism product has withstood them. Besides, when a judge makes a decision, Barbados’ tourism product is completely extraneous to that decision,” the former AG added.

Yesterday, Canadian newspapers and websites carried stories critical of the ten-year sentence, noting that Justice Worrell had admitted there were “extremely little mitigating circumstances”, and despite prosecutors seeking a 16 to 20-year punishment for Foster.

Schwarzfeld’s husband declined to comment on the sentence when contacted yesterday by Canadian newspaper, The Ottawa Citizen, but in a victim impact statement made last month, he said the family had been devastated by the loss.

That impact statement also revealed that widower Paul Cotsman still had difficulty sleeping, and now suffers from a disorder called tinnitus, where sufferers hear a constant ringing in their ears.

In addition, Schwarzfeld’s daughter-in-law Luanna, who was also attacked by the confessed killer, had to go through months of physiotherapy for an arm injury, and still suffers from post-concussion syndrome and post-traumatic stress syndrome.

The MIDWEEK NATION also tried for a comment from Attorney General Freundel Stuart, but was unable to reach him.

13 Comments

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13 responses to “Former Barbados Attorney General to Canadians: It’s none of your business how we punish Schwarzfeld’s killer – You’ll still come here for vacations anyway

  1. Jason

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read what Marshall had to say to Canadians. The man is mad I tell you!

  2. Bad Man Saying Nuttin

    Judges have simply lost it when it comes to sentencing. Can you justify giving someone 7 or 9 years for distributing Marijuana when someone who has taken a life only gets 10 yrs. Here is what Justice Worrell should have considered.

    Rapists are routinely given 10 to 12 years especially in cases which are more brutal or heinous than the average rape.

    A life was taken.

    The life that was taken was taken in the commission of a another crime.

    It is very likely that the individual had committed a series of robberies and violent crimes.

    A witness’ account stated that the perpetrator had a firearm in his possession.

    Little or no remorse was shown by the killer. In fact he most probably lied when stating that the old woman jumped on him and he retaliated.

    The crime was especially brutal. He whacked an old lady on the head with a piece of wood. He hit another lady so hard that she was unconscious for a period of time.

    Illegal possession of a firearm is normally subject to a “mandatory” sentence in excess of 10 years.

    When these factors are considered a reasonable person would conclude that it is ridiculous to sentence someone to 15 years for possessing a gun while sentencing a man who killed in the commission of a robbery to only 10.

    Absolute madness, but these judges like to position themselves as intellectuals and intimate that they understand the nuances of a situation better than anybody else even other professionals. Their decisions are therefore seldom in keeping with what most people would expect as reasonable. 20 years would have been my sentence. There are no mitigating factors for killing in the commission of a crime.

  3. Bad Man Saying Nuttin

    Marshall should be critical of the logical reasoning applied by Justice Worrell but lawyers don’t disagree, even in court.

  4. peter loveridge

    if Mr. Marshall thinks this won’t affect Canadian tourism and Barbados, he is living on another planet. In Canada, nothing makes the general poplace wilder than the ludicrously lenient sentences given by judges to violent career criminals. The present government is trying to end some of this. But here ( Canada), at least there is an option, the crown can appeal the sentence if they view it as inappropriate. Is this an option in Barbados?

  5. Johnny Postle

    Sometimes it pays to think before we speak and Dale Marshall seems not to be a thinker but a talker. There is anothe word for it …but I was told that I cussing too stink these days.

  6. idicus

    Hey gotta say as a Canadian, if he had done this here, he would have got a lesser sentance, served time in nicer facility, and got out in minimum 2/3rds of time served.

  7. passin thru

    “According to Marshall, the sentencing of Foster should in no way affect Barbados’ steadily improving ties to its Canadian market.”

    Marshall “are a idiot” if he thinks he can speak to a reporter these days and not speak to the whole world. He probably wanted to deliver a message to Barbadians saying don’t worry about it but he forgot that it is impossible to control who receives the message these days.

    Marshall is thinking too small. His world is this island and he has trouble thinking about the world beyond our shores.

  8. Undertaker

    Maybe he just wanted to make the present gov’t look bad, when a message is given by a politician to the average outsider it would appear to be coming from a politician in power. I was wondering why HE spoke and not the current A.G. or even a sitting MP.

  9. charl740

    a question ,is he telling a lie ? people have recieve 10-15 yrs for lil herb and for the past few yrs peeople killing like mad and getting 10-12 check out all murder cases in de pass 4 yrs ,2 men kill a school teacher and get 12,man and girl wait pun a taxi man kill he and stole his car ,get 12 something wrong bout hey .

  10. Chicharron

    I am not commenting on the article as some things are better left unsaid. However, what I found downright disappointing with BFP is the little wisecrack that was inserted in the article “So… how’s the jaw doing Mr. Marshall? Rumour has it that ice works better than rum” which refers to the “altercation” that allegedly took place in Parliament last Friday. It seems to me that BFP knows what happened and furthermore that it is being condoned by them not only because of the wisecrack but by not reporting on the incident. If indeed a blow to the jaw was received as was implied in the article, it can be considered as violence which goes againt the principles of this blog or so I believe. I think that the wisecrack should be removed.

    In addition, I found it strange that no article was published on BFP with reference to the incident as they are always the first with news that no one else wants to publish and that they did not give the MP’s a tongue lashing as you usually do.

    BFP, it makes me wonder if you are becoming like the other “cowardly lapdogs”( as you like to call them) who you claim are afraid to or refuse to report certain issues because of who is involved.

  11. BFP

    Gosh Chicharron, I think that Robert might have been talking about Marshall’s talent for putting his foot into his mouth and that a little ice or rum would ease the strain of the big foot in his mouth. Nothing said ’bout any fight I don’t think.

    I’ll ask Robert when I see him next.

    Cliverton

    😉

  12. Avatar Gurl

    LOL!

    AHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAAAA!

    Like Chicharron NOW gotta go get some ice fuh he mout’…like de rum he drinkin’ ain’t wukkin’ neither!

    Tongue in throat, boy…not even in cheek nuh mo’!

    Nicely done, Clive! Put he in he place!

    😀

  13. Pingback: Canadian tourist murdered in St. Lucia beach robbery | Barbados Free Press