Remanded prisoner, Alfred Lewis, was sentenced to 19 years’ imprisonment on Wednesday, after he confessed to the murder of Saisnarine Ramnauth, a schoolteacher who was killed during a robbery.
However, he will only serve 10 years. He had already been in jail for six years pending the determination of his fate. Justice Diana Insanally sentenced Lewis at the Berbice Assizes.
Ramnauth was killed during a robbery at the Sain Supermarket, at Williamsburg, Corentyne on June 7, 2003.
Alfred Lewis confessed to three counts of robbery under arms, which were committed minutes before the killing of the University of Guyana student.
Lewis was initially indicted with murder, but confessed to the lesser count of manslaughter.
The convict stared at the Judge as she handed down the sentence in the courtroom in which his sisters, one of whom is blind‘, sat. They remained quiet at the pronouncement.
State Prosecutor Ganesh Hira said that on June 7, 2003, two men went into the Sain Supermarket.
One of the men stood within the business premises while the other went to the cashier where he robbed co-owner and cashier Bibi Zafena Ally of $400,000 along with a pair of gold bangles.
Hira told the Judge, that while the robbery was being committed another accomplice remained outside keeping a ‘look out’, and in doing so, ordered customers at gunpoint to lie on the ground.
According to the State Counsel, Akbar Sain, the business proprietor, and Indrawattie Mohinlall, a customer were outside the premises and as the gun man approached, the latter attempted to usher her children into their waiting car, but the partially masked man said, ‘Not so quick baby’.
Hira said the two gunmen who had entered the shop, exited with a bag and thereafter fired gunshots.
The three men assaulted and forced Saisnarine Ramnauth into his vehicle and ordered him to drive.
The car proceeded into an eastern direction, after which a gunshot was heard.
The State Counsel told the Judge that although Alfred Lewis was not in the supermarket, he played an equal part in the robbery that took place. The accused in a statement under caution indicated that Brentnol Bascom was the mastermind of the robbery.
Lewis claimed that, he was in company with Rondel Harris at Rose Hall Town, when Bascom came up and told them to get into the waiting car.
Lewis said that he was afraid because Bascom had a gun. They drove around for fifteen minutes before stopping at the supermarket. Lewis stayed outside while the others entered
In a plea of mitigation, Defence Counsel, Charrandas Persaud, said his client then 20 years old had spent six years as a remand prisoner awaiting trial.
The lawyer agreed that no amount of money or remorse could compensate for the loss of a life.
According to Persaud, Lewis regrets his actions and has thrown himself to the mercy of the court.
However Justice Insanally, in handing down the sentence told the prisoner, “If you had gone to trial and found guilty the penalty of the murder would be death.
A person has lost his life. Society has been traumatized, not only the persons who were the victims but society as a whole.
Use your time in prison to decide what you want with your life. It is either you join with the gangs or change your lifestyle.”
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