… Found in bed with corpse
Twenty- four year old, Michael Anthony Persaud, called “Mikey’, of Lot 8 North Sophia, Bel Air, Greater
Georgetown, was yesterday sentenced to 83 years in prison for the murder of his reputed wife, Maduri Padumdeo, called ‘Sharda.’
Persaud was accused of killing ‘Sharda,’ at their Lot 8 North Sophia, Bel Air, Greater Georgetown residence on December 23, 2011.
The 19-year old victim, a cane juice vendor and mother of one, was discovered dead with a piece of cable tied tightly around her neck in their home. Her reputed husband was present at the time the discovery was made; he was found lying in the bed next to her corpse.
A post mortem examination conducted on the body of the victim revealed that she died of ligature strangulation. Persaud was later charged for the offence.
After retiring for less than two hours for deliberations, the mixed twelve- member panel of jurors returned to the courtroom of Justice Navindra Singh and announced that they had found Persaud guilty of murder.
Persaud pleaded his innocence in response to the verdict. “Your honour I am innocent of this crime,” Persaud said, when he was given a chance to speak yesterday. Attorney- at- Law Raymond Ali asked the court to be lenient with his client, but State Prosecutor Judith Gildharie Mursalin asked the court to consider the horrific manner in which the life of a young woman was taken.
“Another young woman has tragically lost her life at the hands of a man; a man who said that he loved her and was supposed to protect her…In today‘s edition of the newspapers it is stated that 10 women have been killed at the hands of their partners this year. The court needs to send a strong message that this will not be condoned,” Prosecutor Mursalin said.
In light of the submission, Justice Singh told the court that it is likely that more years will be added to those found guilty of crimes of such nature.
Before handing down his sentence, the Judge told Persaud that he has deprived his child of both parents and has
shown no remorse for his actions. Persaud’s original sentence stood at 60 years; 10 years was added for the evidence of premeditation before the act was committed, another 10 years was added for the cruel manner in which the victim met her demise and six years was added since it was a domestic violence related crime.
However, the judge deducted three years from the sentence for the time Persaud had spent in the prison pending trial, hence the 83-year jail term.
Persaud wept uncontrollably as he was escorted to the holding cell at the High Court in Georgetown. His relatives who were there to support him through his trial also became emotional.
“I was hoping to hold my son in my arms today,” he wailed.
Earlier in the day, while leading his defence, the accused told the court that he had no knowledge of the crime. He said that he loved his wife and would never kill her. Persaud claimed that he was sodomised by his boss “Kaley” who was also in a relationship with his reputed wife.
“I have a five-year-old son and I would like to be back in his life…” the man said in his defense. Nine witnesses were called upon to give evidence in the trial.
When the case opened on Monday, State Prosecutor Mursalin told the court that according to the evidence ‘Mikey’ and ‘Sharda’ had been in a relationship for a number of years before the incident; the union bore a son but it was no fairy tale.
The first witness Dataday Doodnauth, who had lived next door to the couple, recalled that she witnessed some of the abuse the victim had suffered at the hands of the accused.
The woman said that she had heard arguing and had seen Michael pulling the girl into their apartment by her hair, hours before she was found dead. Doonauth said that the victim shouted out for her to call the police, and she went back into her apartment and called the Prashad Nagar Police Outpost.
Her evidence was followed by that of Chandrapaul, called ‘Kaylee’, and ‘Cane Juice Man’, with whom the couple had been employed. The witness told the court that the accused and his reputed wife worked with him selling cane juice at different locations.
The man admitted that he and the victim were in a relationship and that she confided in him about the abuse she suffered at the hands of the accused. Chandrapaul said that she had showed him marks on her body and he had advised her to make a report to the police.
Chandrapaul said that the night before the incident he and the couple had attended a wake together but his vehicle broke down forcing them to spend a night in a hotel. The witness said that he had dropped the couple off at their home the next morning and made arrangements to meet them later that day but they never turned up.
Police Witness, Detective Constable Jason Kyte, told the court that in his caution statement, the accused said that Sharda told him that she was leaving him for her boss (Chandrapaul ) but he refused to accept it and padlocked the door with the woman inside, restraining her from leaving the apartment.
The officer said the accused told investigators that he then went back into the apartment through a window, where he stayed with his wife until the next day.
The woman was later discovered lying naked and motionless on the bed with a wire wrapped around her neck. The accused was lying next to her; he appeared be sleeping. Graphic images (photographs) of the crime scene were tendered into evidence and shown to the members of the jury. The scissors and a piece of wire which were recovered at the crime scene were also tendered as evidence.
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