Ravindra Pareemdass, 24, has been sentenced to 57 years in prison for murder. Pareemdass was found guilty by a mixed Jury at the Georgetown High Court. The sentence was handed down by Justice Navindra Singh.
According to the charge, Pareemdass murdered Roopram Jagdeo some time between December 20, and December 21, 2012.
The incident took place at Providence, East Bank Demerara. The unlawful killing reportedly stemmed from a row over a bicycle. According to the facts, the victim was hit in the head with a piece of wood, during the brawl.
While leading his defence, Pareemdass told the court that the incident was as a result of a fight, which Jagdeo started.
The man claimed that Jagdeo had threatened to kill him with a piece of wood after he refused to lend his bicycle. Pareemdass explained that during the confrontation with Jagdeo, he sustained injuries to the head. He said that he then went into the yard of his attacker and dealt him lashes with another piece of wood——— this was when Jadgeo sustained the deadly blow to the head.
In her closing address, Attorney-at-Law, Sonia Parag had argued that her client acted in self defence.
However, during yesterday’s summing up, Justice Singh underscored that the evidence provided in the trial, did not support self defence.
According to the Judge, self defence is a factor to be considered when a person who is in immediate (imminent) danger, retaliates — this was not the case since the evidence suggested that Pareemdass had pursued his attacker into his (Jagdeo’s) yard before he delivered the deadly blow.
The Judge pointed to the evidence provided by four eyewitnesses. Justice Singh also instructed the Jury on other matters of fact and law. However, some one and a half hours after retiring to deliberate, the panel returned to the courtroom for further directions on the issue of provocation. The Judge subsequently explained that provocation can be considered when actions or words are spoken to cause a person to suddenly lose their self control.
The Jury returned to deliberate on the outcome and subsequently emerged to the courtroom, with a unanimous guilty verdict for the offence of murder.
Pareemdass stood in the prisoner’s dock, speechless at the Jury’s announcement. The man subsequently indicated to the court that he had nothing to say in response to the verdict. His father however could not contain his emotions—his sobs were audible. Attorney-at-Law, Sonia Parag, in a plea of mitigation, told the court that her client has no previous antecedents, is still very young and had shown remorse over the incident.
State Prosecutor Narissa Leander, declined to address the court on the verdict. Leander appeared on behalf of State Counsel, Teeshana Lake, who initially presented the case. Taking all the factors into consideration, Justice Singh sentenced Pareemdass to a total of 60 years in prison— three years was deducted off the sentence for the time, Pareemdass spent in prison pending trial. He will be eligible for parole after serving 25 years in prison.
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