Sep 11, 2022 News
==The Court Journal==
By Renay Sambach
Kaieteur News – As the men they once shared a relationship with await sentencing – I will highlight the gruesome death of three mothers: Joan Durant, Dhanwantie Ram, and Simone Hackett – whose cases recently came up at the Demerara High Court.
Their former lovers have all admitted to killing them and will be sentenced later this month.
The death of Joan and Dhanwantie stemmed from abusive relationships and the death of Simone came from a dispute over her child.
Bizarrely, one of the men confessed to killing his wife and burying her body in the bathroom of their unfinished home – the other confessed to strangling his wife to death days after she moved out of their matrimonial home, and the other accused admitted to murdering the mother of his child by stabbing her repeatedly, slashing her throat and dumping her body in a trench.
Ten years ago, 50-year-old Joan Durant was killed by her husband, Gordon Leslie Durant, now 80, and buried in the unfinished bathroom of their Melanie Damishana North, East Coast Demerara home.
On June 26, 2012, Joan was last seen alive. When her relatives went looking for her at the couple’s home, Gordon reportedly told them that she had packed her bag and left the house.
However, the woman’s relative did not believe the story, they were told and Joan’s son later filed a missing person report.
On June 28, 2012, Joan’s decomposed body was discovered buried in the sand of an unfinished bathroom, in the couple’s three-bedroom single-flat house.
It is alleged that Gordon was abusive towards his wife and when he was arrested by police, he reportedly admitted to killing his wife because she had threatened to leave him.
On Monday, August 5, Gordon appeared before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow in the Demerara High Court.
The capital offence was read to him and he denied but opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter. As such, Justice Barlow deferred the sentencing to September 15, 2022, and ordered that a probation report be prepared in favour of the accused.
It was on April 5, 2017, when 34-year-old Ganesh Dhanraj called Andre of Parika Facade, East Bank Essequibo, strangled to death his 29-year-old wife, Dhanwantie Ram.
The couple had shared a 12-year relationship which bore three children. However, according to police, Ram encountered repeated domestic abuse which caused her to move out from the matrimonial home four days before she was killed.
The woman had moved to her sister’s home which is located a short distance away. Dhanraj had reportedly visited the woman’s sibling home and demanded that his reputed wife return home, but she refused.
The following day, as Ram was on her way to the Parika Police Station to lodge a report against Dhanraj – he intercepted her and dragged her to their home. He then strangled her to death with a bed sheet and placed her in a chair.
Ram’s body was discovered by her father and sister in a sitting position on a chair in the living room of her home with a mat thrown over her. A post mortem examination gave the cause of death as compression of the neck due to strangulation.
After killing his wife, Dhanraj had plunged into the Essequibo River in a bid to escape from police. However, he was shot in the right arm and was days later apprehended.
While awaiting his trial to commence in the High Court, Dhanraj had escaped on April 20, 2020, from the Lusignan Holding Bay. However, the following month, he was recaptured at the Parika bus park.
On Monday, Dhanraj appeared before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow at the Demerara High Court. He denied the murder charge that was read to him but opted to plead guilty to the lesser count, manslaughter.
As such, on September 26, Justice Barlow is expected to sentence Dhanraj for killing his reputed wife, Dhanwantie Ram.
On April 16, 2016, 25-year-old Simone Hackett was reported missing after she left her ‘C’ Field Sophia home. Three days later, her partially decomposed body was discovered in a trench parallel to the University of Guyana (UG) road, at Fourth Field, Cummings Lodge.
It was reported that Hackett’s throat was slit and there was what appeared to be two stab wounds to the back of her neck.
Her child-father, 30-year-old Cleavaughn Hamilton, called ‘Quarters’, a gold miner of Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, and his friend, Ranachal Singh, 31, a taxi-driver of Lot 7 Good Hope, Mahaicony, ECD, were later charged with the capital offence.
Both men had denied the capital offence at the first hearing, but Singh opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.
On Monday last, Hamilton appeared before Justice Sandil Kissoon in the Demerara High Court to change his not guilty plea to guilty.
According to the statement of the agreed facts, during the month of March in 2016, Hackett and Hamilton had a dispute over their son.
Hamilton admitted that on April 16, 2016, he contacted Singh to take him to pick up Hackett. The men lured the young woman to UG Road by having Singh calling her and pretending to be Dexter, someone from whom she would usually collect items sent by Hamilton.
The woman left home believing that she was going to meet Dexter but was later picked up in Singh’s car with Hamilton inside.
Hamilton admitted that, while in the back seat of the car, he stabbed Hackett several times about her body and slashed her throat with a knife. The men then stopped the car at a bushy concrete bridge and Hamilton dragged Hackett’s body out of Singh’s car and dumped her in a nearby trench, where he also disposed of the murder weapon.
After committing the crime, the two men stopped at a canal on the East Coast of Demerara where Hamilton soaked his shirt and used it to clean the blood stains from the car. They then drove to Mahdia, Region Eight.
A few days later, Hackett’s body was discovered, along with the weapon that was used to kill her. Hackett died from an incised wound to her neck and there were 11 other incised wounds to her body.
Hamilton was later arrested and gave an oral statement of the role he played. He also led the police to the spot where Hackett was picked up. Singh’s car was also discovered with blood stains on the seats and maggots below the mats in the back seat. Hamilton and Singh were friends for a few years and knew each other from Mahaicony. Both men are expected to be sentenced on September 26, 2022.
(To share any useful information, please contact me via email:[email protected] or phone number: + (592) 694-1862)
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