Apr 04, 2021 News
Under COVID-19 guidelines…
Kaieteur News – Under strict COVID-19 guidelines, thirty-six criminal cases were disposed via the Georgetown High Court. During a goal delivery presented on Thursday last, Justice Navindra Singh explained that of the 342 cases listed, 36 were disposed of. Of these 36 matters, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) presented 23 in the High Court of Demerara while 13 matters were nolle prosequi in writing by the DPP, of which l2 were for sexual offences and one for the offence of trafficking in narcotic substance.
For the sexual offence matters, eleven of the complainants submitted written statements that they did not wish to proceed with their matters, while in the other case, the accused died while awaiting trial. In the trafficking in narcotic substance case, the accused was committed to stand trial 24 years ago and the witnesses could not be located.
Those cases that were presented were presided over virtually by Justice Brassington Reynolds, Justice Jo-Ann Barlow and Justice Navindra Singh. Of these 23 matters presented, 14 were for the offence of murder, eight for sexual offences and one for the offence of attempt to commit murder with on alternate count of felonious wounding.
There were a total of 29 accused in relation to these matters. There were four convictions, three formal verdicts of not guilty, eight hung juries, eight not guilty verdicts by jury and five guilty pleas.
State Counsel Tiffiny Lyken and Teriq Mohammed completed eight matters for the offence of murder before Justice Singh. In three of these cases, the juries returned hung and the accused persons were remanded back to prison to await new trials. In the other five matters, one of which had two accused who both pleaded guilty, they were respectively sentenced to 39 years and 29 years imprisonment. In another two, one accused was sentenced to 60 years imprisonment after the jury found him unanimously guilty, while, the other one pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years and eleven months imprisonment. In one of the other two cases, the trial Judge upheld a no case submission and directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty.
The accused in the other one was acquitted by the jury with a unanimous verdict of not guilty.
State Counsel Nafeeza Baig and State Counsel Sarah Martin prosecuted eight matters in the Sexual Offences Court before Justice Barlow. In two of these cases, the accused were both found guilty by jury verdicts; one accused who was indicted on two counts of rape of a child less than six years, was sentenced to 22 years on the first count and 25 years on the second count. The other accused was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment. Another four accused were acquitted by jury verdicts while in the other two cases, the juries returned hung.
Meanwhile, State Counsel Seeta Bishundial and State Counsel Tyra Bakker presented seven matters in Justice Reynolds’ Court; six of these were for the offence of murder and one for attempt to commit murder with an alternate count of felonious wounding.
The accused for the attempt to commit murder charge with an alternate count of felonious wounding was found guilty for the felonious wounding and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment; the complainant in this matter also accepted compensation of $500,000 in Court. In three of the six murder matters, the accused were all acquitted; two of these were by jury verdicts while in the other, trial judge upheld a no case submission and directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty. In one of these cases, there were two accused who were indicted together and were both acquitted. Of the other three matters, two accused pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter and while one was sentenced to five years imprisonment, the other one is awaiting his sentence. The other one matter is in progress.
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