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Taxi driver killer gets 80-yr sentence reduced to 35 years

Taxi driver killer gets 80-yr sentence reduced to 35 years

L-R Convicted killer Balram Sing and his victim Bhomeshwar Sukhdeo

Another man on Wednesday, like many others, had his sentence jail sentence reduced from 80 years to 35 years.

Balram Singh 51 of Agricola, East Bank Demerara was in 2015 found guilty of the murder of Bhomeshwar Sukhdeo. The burnt remains of Sukhedo, a taxi driver, were found in his car along the Mocha Arcadia Access Road in January 2010.

Singh was sentenced to 80 years in prison by Justice Navindra Singh. Balram Singh through his lawyer filed a Notice of Appeal asking the Appellate Court to set aside his conviction and sentence.

Delivering the ruling of the Court of Appeal on Wednesday was Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards who said that the court would only allow the appeal on the issue of sentencing. His conviction was affirmed.

Among other things, the convicted killer argued that the trial judge failed to adequately put his defense to the jury. He further argued that Justice Singh failed to permit him to mitigate the sentence. Another ground of appeal was that the jail term was manifestly excessive and not in keeping with established sentencing guidelines.

Balram Singh’s other grounds of appeal failed. In arriving at a sentence for the convicted killer, Justice Singh used a base sentence of 60 years and added more time for various factors including premeditation and the serious nature of the offense.

The Court of Appeal held that the base sentence was “extremely out of character”.

Justices of Appeal Dawn Gregory-Barnes and Rishi Persaud also deliberated on this matter. State Counsel Diana Kaulesar-O’Brien appeared for the prosecution.