The man who killed his wife and buried her body in a shallow grave at Black Bush Polder and then planted bora on the grave has pleaded guilty to killing the woman.
Sunildat Balack, called “Redman”, 48, of Lot 117 Mibicuri, Black Bush Polder, was accused of killing his wife, Lilwantie Balack, aka ‘Darling’, 39, between September 6, 2016 and March 31, 2017 at the above address.
He appeared before Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall on Tuesday in the Berbice High Court on the charge of murder, but pleaded not guilty to murder. Instead, he pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter. He was sentenced to 21 years in jail.
He was represented by Attorney-at-law Chandra Sohan. State Prosecutor Seeta Bisssondyal presented the Prosecution case.
After some months had passed without knowing about the woman’s whereabouts, relatives made a missing person’s report to the police. The woman was last seen on Saturday, August 27, 2016.
Lilwantie Balack’s plight had come to light after her daughters, who had become increasingly suspicious, contacted the police. Sunildat Balack was subsequently arrested. After being interrogated, he confessed to committing the crime.
He told investigators that that he had an argument with his wife that escalated into a physical fight. She had just returned from the US and wanted to return and he was not in agreement.
During the fight, he choked her until she died. He then removed her jewellery and clothing before proceeding to drag her lifeless body to the backyard of the home where he buried her corpse in a shallow grave near to vegetable plants.
Upon inquiring from Balack about the woman’s whereabouts, relatives were told different stories. He told them that she had run off with a man to the United States. She was in Cane Grove and somebody come pick her up in the night.
Investigators were led by Balack to the spot where the woman was buried. After digging for some time, ranks came upon bones and a skull believed to be that of Lilwantie.
But before the discovery, the man struck up a relationship with Oma Nathoo, 21. The two began living together in December 2016. She stayed with him up until the time he was arrested. He had given her his dead wife’s wedding ring to wear along with her clothes. Nathoo was also arrested but subsequently released.
In a plea of mitigation, Attorney Sohan told the court that Balack was very remorseful for the act. He is a father of four and did not waste the court’s time.
He said that he never meant to kill her. The situation escalated out of a misunderstanding. After the woman died, the man panicked and he buried her body.
He asked the court to temper justice with mercy.
Justice Morris-Ramlall in imposing sentence stated that she considered 35 years. She however took off his early plea and other mitigating circumstances.
She also subtracted a further three years for the time spent in jail. Thus, the accused will have to serve a time of 21 years in jail.
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