Crying man jailed 21 years for Diamond businesswoman’s killing

Colin Grant who pleaded guilty to the August 2013 killing of Diamond, East Bank Demerara businesswoman, Sirmattie Ramnaress was on Monday sentenced to 21 years imprisonment.

Last month, State prosecutors presented a murder indictment against Grant. He, however, opted to plead guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter. He admitted that between August 30, and 31, 2013, in the county of Demerara,  he unlawfully killed Ramnaress called ‘Kavita’.

Reports are that 36-year-old Ramnaress was found dead in the garage of her Diamond, East Bank Demerara home on the morning of August 31, 2013.

Firefighters were summoned to put out a blaze that was set in her garage. The woman lived alone and had stab wounds and other injuries to her head and other parts of her body.

DEAD: Sirmattie Ramnaress 

The prosecutor told the court that Grant and another man plotted to rob the businesswoman. The prosecutor said that Grant, in a caution statement, admitted that he acted as the “lookout man”.

At Monday’s sentencing hearing, Grant cried uncontrollably. “I am very sorry… I have a daughter out there. She never got to see her father. She is seven years old; I have never been there for her. I am sorry for being with the wrong set of friends them on the road…,” the confessed killer cried.

Justice Jo Ann Barlow, in her sentencing remarks, told Grant that he and others engaged in a plan to commit a felony, whether it was to rob or kill Ramnaress. The Judge ordered that the prison authority provides him with counselling tailored to his needs.

In the end, Grant was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment. The Judge, however, ordered that the prison is to deduct one-third of the sentence for his early guilty plea. Another six years have to be deducted for the time he spent in pre-trial custody.

Grant along with former Police sergeant Colin Bailey, 57, were initially charged with the woman’s murder. During Bailey’s trial, the prosecutor conceded that there was no evidence against him.

As a consequence, Justice Barlow upheld a no-case submission made by his lawyer and directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty. Bailey who was charged in 2015 with the woman’s murder said he will be suing the State for prosecuting him even though there was no evidence linking him to the crime.

It was reported that the former Policeman and Ramnaress shared a long-term relationship.