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Stabroek News

Jury urged to find Beckles guilty
published: Monday | November 26, 2007

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

Prosecutor Caroline Hay has asked the jury to find that 22-year-old university student Rodney Beckles was the aggressor and that he was not acting in self-defence when 28-year-old Khalil Campbell was fatally stabbed on January 3.

Beckles has been on trial in the Home Circuit Court since Monday for Campbell's murder.

Defence lawyer Patrick Atkinson has asked the jury to acquit Beckles because he was acting in self-defence.

Justice Kay Beckford will begin her summation to the jury today.

Campbell, son of Supreme Court Judge Lennox Campbell, died as a result of a stab wound to the chest which penetrated the heart.

Denied smoke

The Crown is alleging that Beckles stabbed Campbell some time after Beckles and his friend denied Campbell's request for a smoke from the chillum pipe they were using.

Beckles, son of University of the West Indies professor Hilary Beckles, said in his defence that Campbell rushed at him and held on to his foot. Beckles said he began hitting Campbell for him to let him go.

He said he had a knife in his hand which he was using to cut up marijuana, when he was hitting Campbell.

The defence called psychiatrist Dr. Winston De La Haye, who said Campbell was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. He also said Campbell suffered from cannabis abuse. He said the cannabis abuse exacerbated the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Dr. De La Haye said he treated Campbell between 1999 and 2000 and from September 2006 to October 2006.

Forced to take medication

Royston Henry, a mental health officer, said as part of the community mental health programme, he was assigned to give monthly medication to Campbell. He said some time in November last year, he saw Campbell on Old Hope Road and he ran into a lane. Henry said Campbell kicked him in his chest and hit a member of the team when they caught up with him in the lane. He said they had to force him to take his medication and after that he calmed down.

Character evidence was given by Horton Dolphin, student services and development manager at the University of the West Indies, who described Beckles as being very straightforward and honest. He said he was aware of Beckles' use of marijuana and confronted him about it.

He said he was shocked when he heard that Beckles was charged with murder because he knew him to be a calm person who did not have a propensity for violence.

When cross-examined, Dolphin said he was not aware that Beckles smoked ganja in a lane at 219 Old Hope Road.

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