A farmer is now on remand, facing an attempted murder charge, in which he is accused of using a hoe to try and kill a man who had threatened his wife.
Michael Francis was brought to the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts and placed before Principal Magistrate Faith McGusty to have the charge read to him. This was done with the assistance of the defendant’s daughter, as Francis speaks Macushi, the language an indigenous tribe living in the borderlands of southern Guyana.
The charge stated that on November 28, 2019 at Karasabai, South Pakaraimas, Francis attempted to murder Raphael Matthews. He was not required to plead to the indictable offence.
Attorney-at-law Jerome Khan represented the defendant. He stated that Francis is 39 years old and from Karasabai. The lawyer said that based on his instructions, the defendant’s wife was in their farm when the alleged victim who was under the influence of alcohol, approached her.
He stated that as she was trying to restrain Matthews, he became aggressive and picked up a hoe and started to threaten her.
Francis later arrived and tried to calm Matthews down, which resulted in a scuffle. As Francis was trying to relieve Matthews of the hoe, he (Matthews) allegedly received his injury.
The lawyer added that Matthews only received one blow, and not repeatedly, as if it was intentional. Khan said that Matthews did not seek medical attention and after five days the wound became infected.
Matthews was rushed to the hospital where he received treatment for the injury.
The facts of the charge were very much similar to what the attorney related, however Police Prosecutor Seon Blackman stated that following the argument between Matthews and the defendant’s wife, Francis was the one who picked up the hoe.
The prosecutor said that Francis dealt Matthews a blow to the head and there are witnesses who can testify that it was Francis who at all times was the aggressor. He further mentioned that Francis gave a confession statement admitting to this fact.
Hence, Prosecutor Blackman strongly objected to bail based on the seriousness of the offence, the punishment it attracts, and the prevalence. Also, objections were made based on the fact that the victim is still hospitalised.
The magistrate then upheld the submission made by the prosecutor and remanded Francis to prison pending a report on the condition of the victim.
Francis was instructed to return to court on December 16 at the Lethem Magistrate Court.
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