Man convicted of killing businessman loses appeal

(Convicted killer: Travis McDougall)

An appeal filed by Travis McDougall, who is currently serving a 25-year jail sentence for the shooting death of businessman, 43-year-old Ashok Raghoo, was on Thursday, dismissed on the Court of Appeal finding that it was unmeritorious.

Among other things, the court led by Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards found that the sentence imposed on McDougall was “appropriate” considering the circumstances of the case.

Justice Cummings noted that when it comes to sentencing, each case will turn on its own particular circumstances and that the appellate court will not interfere with a sentence unless it is found to be excessive or wrong in principle.

As such, the Court of Appeal dismissed McDougall’s appeal, affirming his conviction and sentence. Senior State Counsel Natasha Backer appeared for the prosecution, while the convict was represented by lawyers, Nigel Hughes and Narissa Leander.

In June 2017, Mc Dougall was tried for the August 18, 2014 murder of Raghoo which happened at Vlissengen Road, Georgetown. Following deliberations, a 12-member jury, however, found him guilty on the lesser offence of manslaughter.

Mc Dougall, in the end, was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment by Demerara High Court Judge Navindra Singh. The convict, through his lawyers, would thereafter mount an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

His grounds of appeal included that the trial judge misdirected the jury and that his sentence was excessive and not in keeping with established sentencing guidelines.

Facts stated that Raghoo was a miner, and on the day in question, he and his wife went to Georgetown where he uplifted a cheque for $4M from the Guyana Gold Board. He later went to change the cheque at a city bank.

He kept the money in a black haversack. While on Vlissengen Road, Raghoo stopped the car he and his wife were travelling in at the traffic light, which indicated red. Almost immediately, the couple was attacked by two men on a motorcycle.

One of the men dismounted the motorcycle and demanded Raghoo hand over the bag containing the cash. When he refused, he was shot to the chest.

The man then turned on his wife, shooting her in the right foot before escaping with the haversack, their cell phones, and  Raghoo’s firearm.