The capital offence of murder and sexual offences account for 114 of the 156 cases disposed of in 2021 by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). This was revealed in a year-end press statement issued by the Office on Wednesday. Some 128 of these cases received attention in the High Courts while the other 28 matters were nolle prosequi by the DPP.
Of these 128 cases, 66 were presented at the Demerara Assizes, 35 at the Essequibo Assizes, and 27 at the Berbice Assizes; 151 persons appeared in these matters. According to the statement, there were 69 cases for murder, six cases for the offence of manslaughter, 45 cases for sexual offences, and eight cases for the offence of attempt to commit murder.
There were 37 convictions, 49 guilty pleas, 22 formal verdicts of not guilty, 30 not guilty verdicts by jury, two mistrials, seven hung juries, and 28 cases were nolle prosequi. Meanwhile, in 2021, the DPP’s Office received 219 committal depositions; 122 of these were from the County of Demerara, 43 from the County of Berbice, and 54 from the County of Essequibo.
Of these 219 depositions, 130 have been indicted, eight charges were discontinued, 74 are receiving attention and seven were remitted to the Magistrates’ Courts.
Last year, the DPP’s Office completed 101 cases of which 83 received attention in the High Courts. The remaining 18 matters were nolle prosequi by the DPP. Of those 83 cases, 62 were presented at the Demerara Assizes, 15 at the Berbice Assizes, and six at the Essequibo Assizes.
There were 63 cases for murder, three for attempt to commit murder, 15 cases for sexual offences, and two cases for manslaughter. There were 12 convictions, 53 guilty pleas, nine formal verdicts of not guilty, five not guilty verdicts by jury, five hung juries, three aborted trials, while a trial was quashed.