Berbice man sentenced to life for sodomizing and killing teenage boy

A probation report on the life of 32 year old Hillary Edwards of Sisters Village East Bank Berbice who was found guilty in January for the horrific murder of 12 year Leonard Archibald also of Sisters village East Bank Berbice revealed that the accused shared a shaky relationship with his family and several sexual advances allegations were made against him by male victims.

This was revealed in the New Amsterdam High Court before Justice Simone Morris Ramlall on Thursday.

The probation officer while presenting her report noted that the accused had no interested in academics as his parents could not afford to send him to school and eventually began doing odd jobs within the community.

The court heard that several reports were made at the Sisters Police Station regarding allegations of sexual assault against males within the East Bank Berbice area. However, the accused was never prosecuted as he could not be located.

The High Court heard of several horrific stories where several male teenage victims related details of their encounter with the accused one of which involved sexual advances towards a five year old child.

All these matters were reported to the police but nothing came out of those matters but are pleading with the court to ensure the accused faced the full penalty.

Eldest brother of the deceased Orin Archibald who was present in court related that he is pleased that the accused is in the hands of the law and that the court will give family a good result from the case. He noted that he is upset with the loss of his brother as he was loved by the family and member of the community.

Responding to the allegations, the accused maintained his innocence and begged for leniency for sentencing.

He said he is sorry for what happened to the 12 year -old victim. Nevertheless after listening to all parties involved in the matter, Justice Ramall noted that she has considered the nature of the offence and the circumstances under which it was committed, the impact the crime has had on the relatives of the deceased and the lack of remorse by the accused.

She sentenced Edwards to life in prison with a minimum of 27 years before being eligible for parole. She also ordered counselling for the accused while incarcerated.

When the matter was first called at the New Amsterdam Magistrate Court, the allegation was that between September 17 and September 23, 2017, he murdered Archibald at Sisters Village. Edwards along with a 19-year-old both of Sisters Village, East Bank Berbice, were not required to plead to the charge when it was read to them.

As the matter progresses in court the 19 year old was clear of the offence as his attorney argued that he had no knowledge of the crime.

He however confirmed that he was instructed to dispose of the pedal cycle but had no knowledge that his friend (the accused) had murdered the 12 year- old and had his body inside the building they shared.

In a confession statement to detectives Edwards revealed that the child was riding his bicycle along the Sisters Public Road at about 17:30hrs on the day in question when he was approached by Edwards who took him into his home and molested him.

During the ordeal the child became unconscious and the accused thought he had died.

As a result the accused dumped his body into the Berbice River, several feet behind his home. However, after days of combing the area, Archibald’s badly decomposed body was found on September 23 at Korthberaadt River which is located about three miles from Brothers Village, East Bank Berbice.

A post mortem could not determine his cause of death.