Paul Ivor Thom, a 47-year-old mason of Corentyne, Berbice, who was on trial for the unlawful killing of 19-year-old Vishram Mohabir, called “Ajai”, of Williamsburg, Corentyne, has been found guilty of manslaughter. This was after he was found not guilty of murder.
Thom was on trial before Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry and a mixed jury in the Berbice High Court.
Attorney-at-law Mandel Moore presented the State’s case. Attorney-at-law Surihya Sabsook appeared for Thom.
The court was told that on Sunday August 27, 2017 at the High Grade wash bay along the Williamsburg Public Road, a fight broke out during a “Back to school Bar-B-Que and Lime”.
During the altercation, Thom stabbed Kunal Singh, a 16-year-old who was at the party. Singh’s brother, Vishram Mohabir, who was also at the event, noticed the commotion and ran to his brother’s assistance. Mohabir was then stabbed to the neck and chest.
Police ranks who were nearby apprehended Thom, while Kunal Singh and his severely injured brother, were taken to the Port Mourant Public Hospital where Mohabir succumbed to his injuries.
The murder weapon (a knife) was retrieved from the scene of the crime.
The defence put forward a case of self-defence. The accused in an unsworn statement had stated that he was at the ‘Back to School’ party when he was attacked by the brothers. He began to run away and was caught by the brothers who were armed with missiles. He said that during a fight, Vishal Mohabir got injured and Kunal Singh was trying to pull away the knife from him, thus he got cut on his hands.
During the trial, the Prosecution called 12 witnesses including four police officers – two persons from the crime lab – the deceased man’s mother, and his brother who was injured during the incident, a friend who reportedly witnessed the incident and another person who found the knife.
Dr. Vivekanand Brijmohan who conducted the post mortem examination, and gave the cause of death as shock and haemorrhage, due to injury, also testified.
Justice Sewnarine-Beharry took just over an hour to sum up the evidence to the jury. The jury then took just over an hour to return with the verdict of not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter.
Attorney at law Sabsook then requested a probation report, which was agreed to by the Judge.
Thom’s relatives who were present in court, broke down in tears after hearing the verdict.
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