Jan 08, 2021 News
The only thing is that I love women…
Kaieteur News – A 50-year-old man, who underwent a trial and was convicted for murder by a mixed 12-member jury in the High Court, was yesterday jailed 56 years.
Foster Gravesande, a father of three from Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, will be eligible for parole after serving 28 years in prison. The sentence was imposed by Justice Navindra Singh, following the presentation of a probation report.
Gravesande’s trial ended last December when he was found guilty of murdering his neighbour, Courtney Porter. The incident occurred on April 9, 2017. Gravesande had reportedly beaten Porter with a wood over an alleged altercation that the man (Porter) had with his wife.
During the trial, Gravesande maintained that he was not guilty of the crime.
Prior to the sentence, Gravesande’s lawyer, Dexter Todd, appealed to the court for leniency.
He asked the judge to consider that his client has a clean criminal record prior to the incident; that he was the breadwinner for his family and an active contributor to the development of the community. The lawyer beseeched the court for mercy claiming that his client has the utmost remorse for what he had done.
Todd asked the court to consider that his client had been a model citizen prior to the incident and a model prisoner during his incarceration awaiting trial.
“If given a chance he is most likely to be rehabilitated and return to society to contribute meaningfully,” the lawyer added in his submission.
When he was granted the opportunity to address the court, Gravesande expressed similar sentiments. He begged for mercy noting that he has never been involved in any crimes before.
“It is very difficult for me. I am punishing in prison, my family is hurting, my business is affected and I cannot contribute to my community as I would like to. I am very sorry for the life lost and I apologize to the family. I am willing to contribute to them in any way possible, I just need mercy … Sir, I’m not a bad person. What you see here, this is just me. The only thing about me is that I love women,” Gravesande stated.
State Counsel, Teriq Mohammed, noted that while the accused appears to be giving the court reasons that warrants leniency, the case concerns the senseless killing of one friend by another. The prosecutor asked the court to hand down a sentence that is suitable for the crime of a loss of life.
Justice Singh agreed with the submissions of the State Counsel.
He noted that although the father of three claimed he was remorseful, he did not believe he was truly sorry about what he did.
“This was truly a senseless act. There is nothing to support your claims that this man assaulted your wife. Even your wife in her testimony could not back up your statements…you came into my court and lied to my face … I see no mitigating factors here,” the Judge told Gravesande before imposing judgment.
He nonetheless deducted four years from the base sentence of 60 years for time that Gravesande spent in prison pending trial.
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