Aug 05, 2020 News Comments Off on Ex -army officer sentenced to life for killing reputed wife
Former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Captain, Orwain Sandy, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the unlawful killing of his reputed wife, Reona Payne.
The ex-army official is expected to serve at least 20 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.
Sandy’s sentence was handed down by High Court Justice, Sandil Kissoon, yesterday via a zoom hearing.
He had been charged with murder after he shot Payne several times at point-blank range on March 31, 2018, at Masjid Road, Alexander Village.
During his initial appearances at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, Sandy sought to use a psychiatrist report as part of his defence that he was innocent of the murder charge.
He, however, opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter when he appeared before the High Court, last week.
His sentence was deferred to facilitate a probation report which was presented to the Court yesterday.
Sandy’s lawyer, Ravindra Mohabir, followed the reading of the report, with a plea for leniency.
Mohabir asked the court to consider that his client suffered a sudden loss of control due to provocation.
The lawyer claimed that his client was engaged in a heated argument with his partner in whom he demanded that she called a man named “Kwame” and end the relationship she was having with him.
In response, the lawyer claimed that Payne grabbed Sandy’s pistol and threw it out the window. Mohabir said that this incensed, Sandy and he lost control.
Likewise, in his address to the Court, Sandy said that he was deeply affected by his actions. He claimed that he suffered from a mental breakdown on the day he shot Payne whom he referred to as “his first love”.
Sandy told the Court too that he is deeply sorry for his actions.
As he begged for a second chance to contribute to society, Sandy promised that he will use his time to become an advocate of mental health issues and against domestic/inter partner violence.
However, Prosecutor Lisa Cave who presented the State’s case against Sandy asked the Court to hand down a sentence that is reflective of the crime committed.
She said that the sentence must serve as a deterrent to like-minded individuals that such acts against women will not be tolerated.
The State Prosecutor also noted that while Sandy accepted responsibility for his actions, the court needs to send a strong message to society to help dissuade perpetrators of domestic abuse.
In addition to the Prosecutor’s submission, the Court heard an impact statement from Payne’s children as well as their father Richard Bevany.
Bevany told the court that his children have been deeply impacted by the death of their mother. He said that their performance at school was negatively impacted. The two children also related that they miss their mother very much and wished that she was still in their lives.
In arriving at the sentence, Justice Kissoon considered the favourable probation report, Sandy’s remorse and commitment to being a better individual as mitigating factors.
Among the aggravating factors, the Judge considered the use of a gun in the commission of the crime and the number of times Payne was shot at close range. He told the former army officer that he only becomes eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 20 years.
On March 31, 2018, Sandy shot Payne, a travel agent at Muneshwers travel service, 14 times at point blank range and surrendered to officers at the Ruimveldt Police Station, shortly afterwards.
According to the facts of the case, the couple was arguing with each other as they were approaching First Street, Alexander Village in a White Audi PWW 7163. Payne jumped out of the vehicle and Sandy followed her; he reportedly pulled out his handgun and shot her several times as she tried to escape.
He reportedly drove himself to the police station where he reportedly told the police what had transpired. He also handed in his weapon and was placed in custody. Sandy, who was the aide-de-camp to then Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, was immediately interdicted from duty.
Payne was a mother of three and Sandy a father of two. Prior to the incident, the two were living together at Golden Grove, East Bank Demerara.
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