Jan 18, 2020 News
Two men convicted of murder are now looking to have their convictions overturned. Arguing that their sentence of 75 years is unduly severe, Devon Thomas, 26, and Randy Isaacs, 21, are now asking the Court of Appeal to overturn their conviction. In 2015, they were found guilty by a jury of the February 23, 2013 murder of Enterprise, East Coast Demerara businessman, Kumar Mohabir.
They were sentenced to the term of imprisonment by Justice Navindra Singh, who ordered that they will have to serve at least 40 years before the possibility of parole. Based on reports, Mohabir, 25, called “Duksy” and “Fire Link” of Lot 7 Fernandes Street, Enterprise, East Coast Demerara (ECD), was brutally stabbed by a drunken mob on Vlissengen Road, Georgetown.
The man, who operated a tent rental business at his residence, was attacked after he went to the location to collect a tent he rented to his neighbours for the Mashramani Day celebrations. He was stabbed by a group of intoxicated persons, armed with broken bottles. His brother, Navindra, 30, was also attacked when he tried to intervene.
Both Isaacs and Thomas were found guilty of attempting to murder Navindra Mohabir. In documents filed at the Court of Appeal in Kingston, Georgetown, the two murder accused have advanced seven ground in which they contend that the trial Judge erred and was misconceived in law.
In the first ground of appeal, they argue, “The learned trial Judge erred in law in failing to direct the jury to disregard and/or to place no weight on the evidence relating to the identification parade, because it was conducted in unfair circumstances.” The men, through their lawyer, are further arguing that the Trial Judge erred in his direction to the jury on how to deal with the inconsistencies and discrepancies that arose during the trial between the witnesses’ testimonies.
The convicts contend that the Trial Judge erred in law in failing to withdraw the case from the jury because the prosecution’s witness evidence of their identification, if taken to be honest, was so slender a base, that it was an unreliable basis for a conviction. They are complaining that the Trial Judge erred in law in failing to withdraw the case from the jury and uphold a no-case submission, as the quality of the identification evidence was so poor it would have been unsafe for a jury to convict them.
Furthermore, they argue, “The Trial Judge erred in law in not adequately putting and/or explaining to the jury their defence.”
In their final ground of appeal, the convicts argue that the judge erred in law by usurping the discretion given to the Parole Board when he stated in his sentencing when they would become eligible for parole.
When the jury returned the guilty verdict, both Thomas and Isaacs maintained their innocence. “I am innocent of this charge. The only one can judge me is Allah,” Thomas said holding a copy of the Holy Quran. Isaacs uttered the identical words. At sentencing stage, the men’s lawyer begged the court to impose the minimum sentence. The lawyers highlighted that their clients were men of good standing as they had no previous convictions.
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