A lower Pomeroon River man who had earlier pleaded guilty to the offence of felonious wounding over chopping a pregnant woman, was on Thursday, sentenced to 14 years in prison by Justice Jo-Ann Barlow at the High Court in Essequibo.
Initially indicted for attempted murder, Richard Mohammed, 31, pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of felonious wounding. He admitted that on March 25, 2021, in Essequibo, he unlawfully and maliciously wounded a 23-year-old woman.
On the day in question, the two got into an argument and Mohammed attacked the woman with a cutlass, chopping her to her head and about her body. To escape Mohammed’s wrath, the woman ran into the toilet and then into the backdam where she was rescued by persons who took her to the hospital.
After chopping the woman, Mohammed burnt down her house before surrendering to the Police. Due to the extent of her injuries, the woman lost her right arm, a finger from her left hand, and her right eye.
Meanwhile, the woman shared that the incident has left her physically and mentally scarred and unable to care for herself and her children. At the time of the incident, she was 22 and was seven months pregnant.
“Me and my children don’t have anywhere to live and we have to keep asking people to keep us. This is hard on me…my children have to see their mom permanently disfigured. My life would never be the same again,” the woman said.
In his address to the court, Mohammed expressed that he was “deeply sorry”. He told Justice Barlow, “I m deeply sorry for everything that happened. Whatever is asked of me, I will do. I couldn’t control myself in all this. I am deeply sorry for everything and please forgive me for everything that happened.”
In arriving at an appropriate sentence for the convict, Justice Barlow considered the fact that he used a sharp object to inflict injuries on the woman which has resulted in her suffering serious disfigurement.
Not only has the victim been rendered dependent on others for the rest of her life, but she has also been affected mentally and will forever look at her damaged hand, missing finger and eye and not be able to do anything about them, said Justice Barlow.
The Judge told Mohammed that his actions represent his “wanton disregard” for life and limb, lack of concern for the woman’s fetus, and a lack of concern for those who resided in the house he burnt to the ground.
In the end, Justice Barlow sentenced Mohammed to 14 years in prison. From the sentence, the prison authorities were ordered to deduct the time he spent in pretrial custody which amounts to a little over 40 days.
The Judge ordered that he is to undergo counselling sessions tailored for persons convicted of violent offences during his incarceration. Mohammed was represented by Attorney-at-Law George Thomas while Senior State Counsel Tiffini Lyken appeared on behalf of the prosecution.