From an analysis of the number of cases for sexual offences passing through the Magistrates’ Courts, it can be concluded that these types of offences are becoming more and more prevalent in society.
The 2019 February criminal assizes got off to a start on February 19, at the High Court in Essequibo where some 81 cases have been listed to be heard. Once again, sex-related offences have dominated, accounting for 44 of the cases.
Rape of a child under 16 years, sexual activity with a child family member and rape stand out among the prominent cases featured on the list. Rape of a child under 16 years, however, heads the list of sex-related offences, accounting for 31 of the 44 cases.
This is followed by seven cases for sexual activity with a child family member and six for rape. Other matters on the list include murder, manslaughter, robbery under-arms, causing grievous bodily harm with intent to commit murder, wounding with intent, attempt to commit murder and felonious wounding.
Some of the cases of interest include Devon Thomas, called ‘Beast’, and Caleb Persaud, called ‘Dube’, who are up against 10 counts of manslaughter over a deadly boat crash which occurred on January 22, 2013 in the Mazaruni River. That crash left 10 persons dead.
Those that perished were Deon Moses, Ulrick Grimes, Christopher Ramnarine, Zahir Baksh, Brazilian National Francisco Olivera Alves, Kevon Ambrose, Keanu Amsterdam and his brother Ricky Bobb, Jermanie Calisto, and Jewan Seeram.
It is alleged that on January 22, 2013, while being the captains of two travelling speedboats, Thomas and Persaud, killed 10 occupants who had been on board the vessels in an incident that occurred at Crab Falls in the Mazaruni River.
According to reports, Thomas, the captain of the vessel called ‘Matheran’ which was carrying 13 persons, and Persaud, the captain of another vessel called ‘Dube’, carrying six passengers, were traversing at Crab Falls in the Mazaruni River, when the boats collided, resulting in the death of 10 persons.
Former General Manager of the El Dorado Trading, Neville Chandrawattie, is also listed to go on trial before a jury for the murder of mineral dealer, Dharamchan Mangra. This killing occurred on April 21, 2013 during a gold heist at a Port Kaituma mining camp.
According to reports, Chandrawattie and others allegedly planned an armed attack on the El Dorado Trading Comp
Port Kaituma, during which Mangra was shot in the chest and $3M and a quantity of gold were stolen.
Another notable case coming out of the Cinderella County is that of Lennox Baharally who along with Rondel Edwards, has been indicted for manslaughter over the unlawful killing of his uncle, Mohamed Abdool Shameer.
It was reported that Shameer, a farmer, left his home on April 25, 2016 in a paddle boat to visit a friend. He was reportedly on his way back home in the boat when he was run over by a larger boat reportedly piloted by Baharally, his nephew. The nephew and two other persons including Edwards were allegedly in that boat.
However, it is alleged that after the collision occurred Shameer’s body was pulled out of the water and later found buried in a shallow grave.
The February assizes are expected to run for a period of three months, concluding some time this month.
It is being presided over by High Court Judge Sandil Kissoon.
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