The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Tuesday quashed two brothers’ 50-year jail sentence for the 2011 murder of 72-year-old Clementine Fiedtkou-Parris and resentenced each of them to life imprisonment with the possibility of being paroled not before 20 years.
In February of 2022, the Court of Appeal (CoA) of Guyana upheld the convictions of brothers—Orin and Cleon Hinds—who were found guilty of the killing in 2015 following a trial before Demerara High Court Judge Navindra Singh; but reduced their sentence from 81 years with parole consideration, not before 45 years to 50 years each.
The Trinidad-based apex court had heard the siblings’ appeal on October 11, 2022, when it dismissed their appeal against conviction after deliberating for about 20 minutes, stating that it would issue its reasons in due course.
The CCJ then, however, had also reserved its ruling on their appeal against their sentences.
The Hinds brothers had argued that the 50-year sentence was manifestly excessive.
In delivering its ruling Tuesday, the regional court essentially said that their appeal against conviction had no merit and ought to be dismissed.
It further went on to resentence them in accordance with the special sentencing regime set out in Section 100A (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Offences) Act.
“Where life imprisonment is imposed, [Section 100(A)(3) of the Criminal Law (Offences) Act] states that the court must specify a period which that person must serve before becoming eligible for parole, and in the case of the ‘worst’ murders, that period should be not less than twenty years,” the CCJ noted.
The Bench comprised CCJ President Adrian Saunders, and CCJ Judges Marueen Rajnauth-Lee, Jacob Wit, Andrew Burgess, and Denys Barrow, while Assistant Directors of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Teshana Lake and Diana O’Brien appeared for the State.
Attorney-at-Law Arudranauth Gossai appeared on behalf of the convicted killers.
During interrogation by detectives back in 2011, one of the convicted killers admitted that he and his accomplices were paid almost GY$1.2M to execute the elderly woman on June 30, 2011.
It was reported that Fiedtkou-Parris was murdered as a result of a bitter dispute over a property. At around 07:45h on the day in question, two men went to the woman’s Robb Street, Georgetown home and called out for her, shouting “Auntie”.
They were directed up a step and when Fiedtkou-Parris emerged from her bedroom, one of the men pulled out a gun and shot her multiple times to the body. They then escaped in a waiting motorcar which was occupied by some other men. The septuagenarian was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) where she was pronounced dead on arrival.