Two-time wife-killer sentenced to 26 years

Justice Devan Rampersad -
Justice Devan Rampersad -

A two-time wife-killer has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for killing his second common-law wife, seven years after he was freed from prison for killing the first.

However, Winston Joseph, now 62, has been left with a term of five months and 27 days left to serve on his sentence by Justice Devan Rampersad on May 23.

Joseph was allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter based on an unlawful act after he entered a plea agreement with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in March.

He was before the court charged with the murder of Ann-Marie Mark, which took place on October 4, 2003, at her Industrial Estate, Diego Martin, home.

In 1994, he was convicted of manslaughter for killing his then-common-law wife Pansy Wiltshire, who was five months pregnant, in Maloney Gardens. For that offence, Justice Harold Koylass sentenced him to five years, but he only served three years and eight months, with prison authorities applying remission to his sentence.

Joseph was not arrested for Mark’s murder until July 2007, when her daughter spotted him at a construction site on Tragarete Road.

In sentencing Joseph, the judge accepted the starting point of 24 years the prosecution and defence had agreed to, but applied a two-year upward adjustment of two years because of his manslaughter conviction, which was the court’s main concern.

Rampersad applied the one-third discount for the guilty plea and the 16 years, ten months and three days he spent on remand were deducted, leaving him with five months and 27 days to serve.

The judge also ordered Joseph to be put on probation for two years after his release.

Mark’s two children provided eyewitness evidence in the prosecution’s case against Joseph.

Her son said he heard the couple quarrelling around 5.30 am that morning, and he told them to behave. While at a nearby spring taking a bath before going to work, her son said he heard his mother scream and saw Joseph running from the house.

Her daughter also heard the couple arguing that morning and heard her mother saying, “Not because you stab me up the first time, you feel you could come and do it again.” She told police after she asked her brother to assist, she saw Joseph go to her mother’s house twice before also hearing her scream.

When she rushed to assist, she saw her mother with a knife in her hand and her hand on her chest. She said her mother started to walk to the road before collapsing on the ground.

In the first killing, Joseph told police he strangled Wiltshire after she and her young son said her ex-partner had visited her.

In a plea in mitigation, Joseph’s attorney, public defender Michelle Ali, said he regretted his actions and admitted anger management was a struggle for him when he was younger.

She said he used his time in prison to gain a measure of self-control and had no infractions during his incarceration. Ali also said he wanted an opportunity to care for his elderly father on his release.

The State was represented by Veonna Neale-Munroe. Shuzvon Ramdass also appeared for the Public Defenders’ Department.


"Two-time wife-killer sentenced to 26 years"

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