Convicted killer gets life sentence reduced to 12 years

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Deosaran Bisnauth

Deosaran Bisnauth, who was in 2017 sentenced to life imprisonment for manslaughter, has gotten his sentence reduced to 12 years after he challenged the matter in the Court of Appeal.

On April 18, 2017, Bisnauth, then 19, was handed a life sentence after a 12-person jury found him guilty of unlawfully killing Robert Mangal called “Trevor.” He would have been 16-year-old at the time he committed the offence.

The Appeal Court held that, given his age, the trial judge should not have imposed the life sentence.

From the 12 years to which his sentence was reduced, prison authorities were ordered to deduct time spent in pre-trial custody. The remaining years are subject to review by the Chief Justice.

Nicknamed “Strokes Mouth”, Bisnauth had argued that trial Judge Navindra Singh made numerous errors in law, and as a result, his conviction is not safe and cannot stand. He was initially indicted for Mangal’s murder by State prosecutors. However, the jury returned an 11-1 guilty verdict in favour of the lesser offence of manslaughter.

Facts state that on July 6, 2013, at Enmore, East Coast Demerara (ECD), Bisnauth and Mangal were imbibing alcohol at a shop when a fight broke out between them.

An eyewitness testified that he saw when Bisnauth hit Mangal thrice with a piece of wood which was almost four feet in length. The witness said that Mangal fell face down on the ground.

Bisnauth had claimed that he acted in self-defence after Mangal charged him with a rum bottle. But State prosecutors had dismissed Bisnauth’s claim and maintained that he was, in fact, the aggressor. The prosecutor submitted that Bisnauth attacked Mangal, whose back was turned.

Government Pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh had given his cause of death as cerebral haemorrhage due to blunt perineal trauma to the head. Another doctor had testified that the injuries Mangal sustained were life-threatening. A total of 15 witnesses testified during this trial at the High Court in Demerara.