A 22-year-old man who was jailed for two years and eight months for killing a farmer whom he stabbed to death back in 2016, has been released from custody on time served. He was charged with the capital offence of murder when he was 17.
The man whose name and other particulars cannot be published, since he was charged pursuant to Juvenile Justice Act, was initially indicted for murder when he appeared earlier this week before Demerara High Court Judge Simone Morris-Ramlall.
He, however, opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter, admitting that on November 23, 2016, at Ela Landing in the North-West District, he unlawfully killed 44-year-old Junior Moses, a farmer, of Barima, North West District.
Police said that the then-teenager and the man were consuming alcohol at the landing when an argument ensued between them. The teen then armed himself with a knife and stabbed Moses once to his abdomen before fleeing the scene.
The injured man was transported to the Mabaruma Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival and the teen was subsequently apprehended.
Justice Morris-Ramlall after considering the probation report in favour of the offender, the victim impact statement from Moses’ family and submissions from the defence and prosecutor, imposed a sentence of two years and eight months, less time served.
Section 44 (c) of the Juvenile Justice Act, which deals with sentences for offences, provides that a Judge/Magistrate shall commit the offender to custody in an open or secure residential facility provided for under the Act for a period not exceeding five years from the date of the coming into force of the order.
The offender, who had been in custody for approximately five years and four months has, however, been released on time served, since his sentence is fully satisfied by the time he spent in pre-trial detention.
In keeping with the Juvenile Justice Act, the court placed the offender on probation and supervision for two years during which time he shall keep the peace, be of good behaviour, and report to the Chief Probation Officer once every month.
The court ordered the offender to notify the Chief Probation Officer of any change of address or any change in his place of employment. The offender must also remain in Guyana unless he is granted permission from the court to leave the jurisdiction.
Moreover, the offender was also ordered to perform community service at Mabaruma, Region One for two hours weekly for the next six months, or at a place or institution directed by the Chief Probation Officer.
Lastly, the Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency was instructed to issue a positive peer association directive, requiring the offender to be associated for a specified period with a specified person whom the Director has reason to believe can contribute to the offender’s positive behaviour.
The offender was represented by Attorney-at-Law Jerome Khan. Senior State Counsel Lisa Cave presented the case for the prosecution.