The Guyana Court of Appeal on Tuesday upheld the conviction of the men who murdered a pensioner on Robb Street back in June 2011 in Georgetown Guyana. The court however reduced the sentence from 81 years to 50 years for those who were accused of the murder.
72-year-old Clementine Fiedtkou-Parris was gunned down at her home and Roy Jacobs, and Orwin and Cleon Hinds were found guilty of the crime in 2015 following a trial before Demerara High Court Justice Navindra Singh. He sentenced them each to 81 years in prison with eligibility for parole set at 45 years.
Following their trial, the trio moved to the Court of Appeal to have their conviction and sentence quashed, and in so doing, contended that the trial judge committed several errors in law during the trial proceedings. They also contended that the 81-year prison term was manifestly excessive.
The court rejected the convicts’ grounds of appeal as it relates to the errors made by the judge during the trial. The appellate court, however, agreed with the men that the sentence imposed by the trial judge was excessive and not in keeping with established sentencing guidelines.
As such, the appeal court set aside the 81-year sentence imposed by Justice Singh and imposed a sentence of 50 years on each of the convicts.
In delivering the appellate court’s ruling, Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards described the woman’s killing as gruesome, noting that the men who were “hired for pay” invaded the privacy of the woman’s home.
The appeal court started with a base sentence of 35 years to which it added five years each for premeditation, use of a gun, and the number of persons who carried out the deadly act, thereby arriving at a final sentence of 50 years, minus the time they have already spent in prison.
Kevin October who was also charged, tried and jailed for 81 years also over the pensioner’s murder had appealed his conviction and sentence, but he died last year after contracting COVID-19 in prison.
Justices of Appeal Dawn Gregory-Barnes and Rishi Persaud also deliberated on this case. Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Teshana Lake appeared on behalf of the State while Defence Lawyers Dexter Todd, George Thomas, and Adrian Thompson represented the convicts.
During interrogation by detectives back in 2011, one of the convicted killers admitted that he and his accomplices were paid almost $2.M to execute the elderly woman.