Apr 09, 2010 News
Justin Bailey, called Jassie, 36, of Rosignol, West Bank Berbice, and of 548 Moraballi Street, Linden, was yesterday sentenced to 13 years in jail, by Judge Winston Patterson, after he was found guilty of the lesser count of manslaughter by a mixed jury sitting in the Berbice High Court.
Bailey was on trial for the murder of his sweetheart’s cousin, Hilda Nicholson, called ‘Hilda Nedd’, who was stabbed to death on October 18, 2006.
At the time the woman was at her cousin’s home at Rosignol.
Justice Winston Patterson had earlier ordered a probation report, noting that he wanted to know more about the accused. He had also noted that during the trial no one for the accused or the deceased were present in court.
The probation report which was presented by Probation and Welfare Officer Ann Choy noted that the accused is the elder of two children of his parents of that particular relationship.
The report also stated that both parents have other children. His mother deserted them when he was seven years old and he and his sister were brought up by their grandparents. His mother, who is overseas, never maintained contact with them.
The report stated that Bailey who was described as a quiet and unassuming person, lived with one Lavern Albert with whom he had a relationship for over four years at a home built by the two, from his earnings. They later opened a liquor restaurant.
The report stated that during the time of their relationship, they had many disagreements and quarrels and she put him out of the home. He was given money only when he asked.
They maintained a visiting relationship. He worked as a mechanic and chauffeur in both Rosignol and Linden.
He fathered two children with two different women. One of them, a girl of 13, lived with her grandfather and a boy of 10 lived with his mother in Georgetown.
At school he did reasonably well and went on to graduate from the Technical Institute in Linden as a mechanic.
Earlier, his attorney Michael Baird, in a plea of mitigation, asked the court to temper justice with mercy. He also stated that his client is a first offender and has already spent four years in prison.
He stated that his client is very remorseful for the crime committed.
Justice Patterson, before imposing sentence, said that the accused found himself ‘as a boy in a man’s situation’, like a bumper ball. “You should have put some wheels on your heels and run out of the relationship, not run after you committed the act.”
“What you did was a cowardly act. A life is lost and no plea and sorry could bring it back.”
The judge told the accused that he seems to be an intelligent person and urged him to make use of his time behind bars.
He later congratulated the Probation Officer for a comprehensive report.
Present in court were the father and sister of the accused as well as the mother of his son. His daughter was later brought in after the sentence was conferred on the accused. The group was huddled, in tears, before Bailey was lead away to begin his sentence.
Prosecution Dionne Mc Cammon had stated that the accused in his statement to the police had said that he acted in self defence after he was attacked by the two women.
However in his statement from the dock he changed his story stating that he was not at the scene and knew nothing about the woman’s injury.
The state’s case was that on the day in question the deceased was at her cousin, Lavern Albert’s home at 93 Jarvis Street, Rosignol when the accused visited about 15:45 hrs and requested some food which was given to him.
He further requested one hundred dollars which was also given to him.
The two women were still in the house around 23:45 when they left to go to the outdoor toilet. Lavern remained on the steps while Hilda ventured to the outhouse. A few minutes later, she was heard calling that someone was in the toilet and it looked like Justin. A little after Hilda was heard saying ‘Justin bore me with a knife’
She collapsed and was rushed to the Fort Wellington hospital in a taxi. She subsequently died.
Giving evidence before were taxi driver Sylvester George and Dr. Vivekanand Brijmohan who conducted the post mortem and gave the cause of death as shock and haemorrhage due to a wound to the heart.
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