Life sentence for ex-prison warder who stabbed wife to death

Former Prison Warder Sheldon Prince, who stabbed his wife to death in 2016 in the compound of the National Psychiatric Hospital at Fort Canje, Berbice, was on Tuesday sentenced to life in prison by Berbice High Court Judge Sandil Kissoon.

Earlier in this month, Prince, 35, formerly of Stanleytown, New Amsterdam, Berbice was arraigned on a charge for the indictable offence of murder to which he pleaded guilty. On December 28, 2016, he murdered his wife, Lonette Nicholson- Prince, 22.

Nicholson-Prince, who was a hairdresser at the Psychiatric Hospital, had just arrived at work when Prince, a prison officer at the Mazaruni Prison, attacked her with a knife. The woman died as a result of shock and haemorrhage due to several stab wounds. Prince and his now-dead wife have a nine-year-old daughter together.

During a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, a crying Prince, who was represented by Senior  Counsel Murseline Bacchus, pleaded with the court to have mercy on him. He said that his relationship with his wife was one that was once filled with love.

However, he said that he and his wife had many falling out because she lived a “promiscuous” lifestyle and was unfaithful to him while he was away at work. He claimed that his wife had denied him access to their daughter after they separated.

He added that killing his wife was not a deliberate act, but rather, one that was provoked by her constant infidelity. Relatives of the now dead woman told the probation officer that she was abused by Prince throughout their marriage which led to her taking out a protection order against him on November 5, 2016.

Meanwhile, the couple’s nine-year-old daughter, who was interviewed by a probation officer, shared that she misses her mother very much and cries whenever she thinks about her. For his part, Justice Kissoon reprimanded Prince for his “diabolical and murderous” act, stating that the court will show him no mercy.

Justice Kissoon, in his sentencing remarks, described Nicholson- Prince’s killing as being “cold-blooded and premeditated”, while pointing out that she was stabbed some 15 times in the region of her heart by her husband.

Given the increase in murders stemming from intimate partner violence, the Judge emphasized that the court needs to send a strong message to like-minded persons that such behaviours will not be condoned. As such, he sentenced the convict to life in prison, ordering that he only becomes eligible for parole after serving 30 years.

State Counsel Abigail Gibbs appeared for the prosecution.