The Court of Appeal yesterday upheld convictions but overturned the sentences handed down in two separate murder cases.
In the first criminal appeal, Jeffrey Warde had asked the Court to consider setting aside his conviction and sentence in relation to the murder of his wife, Donnette Greenman -Warde.
She was killed at Herstelling, East Bank Demerara during a domestic dispute with her then spouse, (Warde) on April 24, 2010.
In delivering the judgment yesterday, Justice of Appeal Arif Bulkan surmised the evidence presented against Warde in the trial in the High Court and highlighted the grounds on which the appeal was presented.
In his remarks, Justice Bulkan noted that among other things, lawyer for the appellate, Everton Singh-Lammy, had raised contention over the fact that his client was not afforded a psychological evaluation prior to being sentenced even though it was requested.
It was pointed out that the request for psychological evaluation was made after Warde responded to the guilty verdict announced by the jury.
He had read scriptures from the bible and told the Court that he would prefer to suffer for what is right than do what is wrong.
In the ruling yesterday, the Appeal Court essentially noted that an evaluation could not have been at the point of sentencing.
Singh-Lammy had also argued that the trial Judge failed to adequately put Warde’s defence to the jury.
In upholding the murder conviction, Justice Bulkan noted that there was no evidence of self defence or provocation in the matter.
The Judge, who was joined by Chancellor, Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justice Rafiq Khan also pointed to the prevalence of intimate partner violence; many of which result in the gruesome deaths of women.
He said the Court will nonetheless; reduce the sentence to 30 years in prison.
Warde was initially sentenced to 71 years in prison for the murder by Justice Navindra Singh in 2013.
According to reports, the victim, Greenman-Warde, 36 years old at the time, was stabbed repeatedly about her body.
Prior to her death, she sustained nine incise wounds. She sustained two stabs wounds in the region of her heart with “a Rambo knife” while she lay on her bed.
Her other injuries included several stabs about her upper chest, gashes to her hands and cuts about her feet.
Reports further suggested that the woman was the victim of a brutal attack by her spouse.
After the stabbing, the woman reportedly sought refuge in a storeroom of a nearby shop where she collapsed, took her last gulp of air and died in a pool of her own blood. Her niece, Stacy DeCambra, 21, had testified that she too was attacked, but managed to escape unhurt.
She said that amidst the screams, she ran into her aunt’s room and saw the man (Warde), and he turned in her direction and her aunt ran out of the house.
Similarly, in the appeal made by Dwayne Jordan, the Court ruled that his murder conviction is upheld but substituted the death penalty imposed on him for a sentence of 30 years in jail.
Jordan was also indicted for killing his reputed wife, Claudeene Rampersaud. Rampersaud was axed to death in an abandoned house at Den Amstel, West Coast Demerara.
He was also tried and sentenced by Justice Singh.
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