Barralga jailed for 6 years

| 15/04/2014

(CNS) Full report: The woman who killed her lover in a domestic fight at the couple's home in Little Cayman has been sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to be deported once she is released. Justice Charles Quin said Elsey Calderon De Ortega Barralga (29) had faced a substantial degree of provocation when she stabbed Perry Stephen McLaughlin (54) (left) and fled the scene to a neighbour's house last November. Following the sentencing guidelines, the judge said he was comfortable, given the circumstances, starting at eight years and gave her a 25% discount for her guilty plea. Describing the argument that led to Mclaughlin's death as trivial, he said that had he not swept the knives to the ground in a loss of temper, the tragic incident may never have happened.

As the judge delivered his verdict, Barralga never once lifted her head and wept quietly.

Justice Quin said the couple enjoyed a loving and happy relationship in which they clearly cared for each other and were happy together earlier that night. But five hours after going out together Perry McLaughlin was dead in a sad and tragic event that should never have happened. Pointing to the ingredients that lead to the killing, he said a combination of a trivial argument, alcohol, a short temper, knives and a loss of self-control ended in a tragic violent disagreement.

Justice Quin said it was all but impossible to identify with precision the exact moment in time when Barralga stopped acting in self-defence but both sides had agreed that when she inflicted the fatal wound McLaughlin was not armed.

The local businessman, who was well-known in Little Cayman, was stabbed seven times but just one of the wounds to his chest was considered fatal. In a long sentencing judgement delivered on Tuesday afternoon, Justice Quin said he had struggled with the differing positions regarding the level of provocation in this case.

The couple had enjoyed a good relationship but on that fateful night they went out for a social evening at some of the island's restaurants and bars but ended up in a huge fight at their home when the evening was over, fuelled by a petty squabble.

It was accepted by the crown that Barralga had used the knife in the first instance in self-defence, as she had clearly been assaulted by McLaughlin. But at some point she went too far and inflicted a fatal stab wound before she ran through broken glass to escape the house and what she believed was her still angry lover. However, she had inflicted a wound so severe the pathologist had said that McLaughlin would have been dead within a minute or so of receiving it.

Explaining his sentence in accordance with the sentencing guidelines and the findings of the Court of Appeal, the judge said the starting point was eight years, and despite aggravating and mitigating factors claimed by the crown and the defence, the judge said he saw no good reason to move from that point, before he reduced the jail term in response to Barralga’s guilty plea down to six years and made an order of deportation to her native Honduras following release.

Category: Crime

Comments (52)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The issue here is that the Crown should NOT have accepted a guilty plea to Manslaughter. They should have taken the matter to trial. They had enough evidence to prove murder and this was very clearly murder according to the definition of murder in our Penal Code.

  2. Anonymous says:

    He was a woman beater that’s why his wife left him!

    • Anonymous says:

      Shows how much u know, Perry was never married!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I dont think you know the person you are talking about at all.

      This man was never married and no evidence was presented in court to suggest that he had any previous history of violence. His last girlfriend lived with him for nine years until this woman whormed her way into his life. Poor man only lasted two months after she moved in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perry McLaughin was never married, so had no wife to beat!!!

      Get your facts straight!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Judge got one thing wrong when he said that if the knives were not thrown to the ground this would not have happened. I disagree totally. If ALCOHOL was not involved this may not have happened.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hum, no call to the police, he is stabbed repeatedly, and she goes next door and sleeps. Makes you wonder if she was in fear for her life as she now says.

    Six years doesn't seem a fair punishment, as she will only serve four.

    • Anonymous says:

      I got 10Caymanian dollars that sez she serves 1 or 2 and is quietly shipped home. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Given the tragic circumstances I have to agree with the sentence imposed by the judge. I recall something about "a crime of passion" in connection with French law but whether or not this has any bearing I don't know.  Anyone familiar with it? 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why keep her here and not deport her from now?  Oh wait… we have to make sure government has to shell our 10's of thousands of dollars for another foreigner in prison.  It's a shame because we have a lot of hungry children and indigents on this islands.  It's a shame we have to have fundraisers and food drives to feed these people but yet the rapists, murderers, thieves, drug addicts etc. can sit in prison and not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from while people on the outside have to worry about how they are going to feed their families.  The system has it all wrong.  The government's priorties are up in the air.  There needs to be a law in place that if foreigners commit a crime and they are to be deported anyway why let them sit in our prison and suck up monies that government doesn't even have.  Ah boy!  What a mess!

    • Michel says:

      Yes I agree with you. We should send back ” persona non grata. Never to return it would clear out half the inmates @ ” Hotel Northward ” and save lots of much needed moment as far too many suffers and hard for the children. I’m talking about those who have ambition. Go Bless. Michel

      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        Check the census office on the percentage of non Caymanian inmates  – afraid it is way less than half.  Only place you are deporting most of them to is ….here.  

      • anonymous says:

        All you would do is displace Caymanians with criminal records to someplace else. I am sure the new countries will love that.

        As usual, commenting before research is a sure way to highlight those who put nationalism before wisdom.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you really lacking that much understanding 10:44? If she is deported to Honduras she will be FREE and serve NO TIME (ie NO punishment) unless Honduras decides to incarcerate her for her crime in the Cayman Islands and there is no chance of that!

    • Anonymous says:

      So if a hit man flies in to Cayman, commits murder and gets caught you'd be ok with sending him on the next flight out without being punished…

      Seriously? Did you even spend 5 seconds thinkign through the drivel that you typed?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes dumbas@. Let's send a message to the world that you can come to the Cayman Islands, kill someone, and if caught, get a free ticket home. That will certainly deter crime.The crime was commited in theCayman Islands, so unless there is a written agreement with the perpetator's home country the person will have to serve time here.

      • Anonymous says:

        It's not a free ticket home. The govt has skimmed a 'repatriation" fee off anyone that's come here on a permit. 

  7. Knot S Smart says:

    Justice Quin has always been a fair and balanced Judge. I have no doubt that he carefully analyzed all of the evidence in this sad case before arriving at his conclusion…

  8. Anonymous says:

    More of our people would be killed unless we screen these people that enter our shores=finger printing system!

    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously?

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed, my son was fingerprinted entering the US from the age of 14. Why can't we do it here? I'm not suggesting that most or all criminals here are expats but it would make people think twice about committing a crime here. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    She fought for her life and went one stab wound too far, this is not a gang killing, or a heartless murder. Everyone is at a loss, and sending her to prison for life will not help anyone. Sending her to prison shows that no one can be just accepted for killing another, but that women no longer need to suffer in silence The Crown ACCEPTED she as acting in self defence. Her injries spoke for themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      All you old men out there that love to abuse women take note….this could be your fate.

      All you young women out there that go hunting for these much older sugar daddy's…this could be your fate!

      I feel this woman was in genuine fear of her life that night and basically killed him before he beat her to a pulp. She should be set free. This man got what was coming to him after all the women he has beaten over the years. I do not feel an ounce of pity for him.

      • Anonymous says:

        Were you there? She admitted that he had never hit her before, that he was not armed and she was no longer acting in self defence when she killed him. You need to understand the facts before posting what you "feel". 

        • Anonymous says:

          Ok then, I will put it differently and this is exactly "how I feel". His life was taken from him by the one woman he did not beat until that dreadful night. I do not pity men that abuse women for any reason and this fella "had" a history of doing so.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow, you should not be so quick to judge especially if you did not know them.

        I DID KNOW THEM.

        First Perry, a nice guy who was a recovering alcoholic and only drank club soda and cranberry juice for maybe the past 15 years, who worked 7 days a week never partied, called his mom everyday till she passed, and yes sometimes could come off as a sob (we all have bad days ) but never would abuse a women.  Also he could not move very fast as we all know he could barely keep his balance walking sometimes, so if this so called life threatening situation was happening she could have just ran away. Second Elsie, she came to Little Cayman after her husband was working on a resort after a year or so, they got a divorce a year later.  During her time on Little she was known to party ( drink ) to much during and after the divorce, and had a fling with a much older man ( not Perry ) who was married during and after her first marriage.

         

        So don't be so quick to judge,

        • Anonymous says:

          All correct but Perry's mom is very much alive.

        • Anonymous says:

          So all his ex girlfriends are liars?? The various police reports of physical abuse on his part are falsified?? It appears you want to paint a picture of Perry being a harmless old soul who could barely walk, never would hit a woman and was a recovering alcoholic. You then attempt to paint the woman as a slut who opened her legs to other married men (not Perry). I don't care how much of a ho or drunk she might have been…..No excuse to beat a woman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why use the word old men? there are lots of young men beating on their girll friend and boyfriend.

        As for the young women versus older men, this is not new. I will hold my next sentence, it might offend the heavy set caymanian women.

    • Anonymous says:

      Get the facts straight. He was not armed and when she struck the final three blows, she was no longer acting in self defence. She also admitted that he had never hit her before so the "suffer in silence" is nonsense in this case.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why didnt she call the Police just after killing this poor guy? Guess she could not get out of doing the murder so she had to later admit to it. I would have some mercy for her if she had a reported it. mInstead she waited until she had time to think what she was going to tell the Police. Why has'nt anyone thought about this. If it was acting in self defense then when it is all done you call the Police. After all he was somebodys child and not a chicken.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Poor Ol' Perry never hurt a soul in his life but himself.  No one ever thought he would depart this life in such a horrific way by the hands of the young woman he loved, considering that he only fooled around with "Old Fowls" practically all of his young days.

     

    Wonders never cease, may Perry's soul rest in peace and Elsy's soul find peace again.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am somewhat surprised to see that someone could only get six years for killing another person.

     

    Is it true the each day is treared as two days and that actual time served can be reduced by as much as 1/3 for good behavior?  If so, I am surprised that more people have not been killed in the Cayman Islands. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    Crown Please Appeal this Case Perry's life was precious he was such a wonderful person 66yrs would have been SATISFACTORY.

    • Anonymous says:

      You obviously werre not one of his former girlfriends – they all tell a diferent story and have police repoprts to back it up. No Perry didn't deserve to die, nobody does – but dont sugarcoat him – he was no saint!

  13. Anomoyous says:

    His life mean't nothing 6yrs what a Disgrace

  14. Anonymous says:

    From the report above, it sounds like a classic case to be referred to the Court of Appeal and potentially thereon to the Privy Council. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    Probably the best outcome – a sad situation for all

  16. Anonymous says:

    6 years for murder?  wow.

     

  17. Young Man says:

    That's extremely light. People found with a mere illegal possesion of weapon have received heavier sentances. That 25% time discount was also very generous. Lucky lady..

  18. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately no one will learn anything from this tragic event.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Dead man tells no tales.  She can say anything in her defense.

  20. Anonymous says:

    How does the judge know that it was Mr. McLaughlin that swept the knives to the ground? Even if it was Mr. McLaughlin is that reason to commit murder?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Agreed

  22. Anonymous says:

    Is that what a life is worth? Shameful.