Agricola man appealing 80-year jail term for taxi driver’s murder

Balram Singh, who was sentenced to 80 years’ imprisonment in December 2015 for murdering taxi driver Bhomeshwar Sukhdeo, whose burnt remains were dumped on the Mocha Access Road in January 2010, has filed an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

 The lengthy prison sentence was imposed by Justice Navindra Singh following a trial before a 12-member jury at the High Court in Georgetown. After deliberating for almost four hours, the jurors returned a unanimous guilty verdict.

 In a caution statement given to the Police, Balram Singh admitted that he and an associate, Travis David, murdered Sukhdeo.

 The court heard that on January 19, 2010, David travelled to Georgetown from Agricola and he waited in the vicinity of Silvie’s Variety Store. He later left and returned in a white wagon driven by Sukhdeo.

Balram Singh got into the back seat of the vehicle, while David sat in the front passenger seat and directed Sukhdeo to drive to the Agricola on the East Bank of Demerara where Balram Singh had resided. 

After arriving there, David instructed Sukhdeo to stop the vehicle and when he did, David pulled out a .38 revolver and shot him to the neck.

They then placed Sukhdeo in the back seat of the car and they drove to Eccles, East Bank Demerara, where they placed the body in the bush. They then moved the man’s body from there and transported it to Mocha Access Road where they dumped it. They then made good their escape.

In a Notice of Appeal filed by his Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes, Balram Singh is asking the Court of Appeal to set aside his conviction and sentence.

He is arguing that Justice Singh failed to adequately put his defence to the jury. He further argues that the trial judge failed to permit him to mitigate the sentence. The convict also argues that the sentence is manifestly excessive and not in keeping with established sentencing guidelines.