By Andrew Carmichael
A Corentyne man was on Monday jailed for 20 years for killing his wife in 2016.
Ravindra Bandoo, a 31-year-old carpenter of Princetown, Corriverton, Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) killed his wife Indrawattee Somwar, also called ‘Sharda’ by chopping her in the face and on March 8, 2016, at their Corriverton home.
State Prosecutrix, Orintha Schmidt, told the court that on March 8, 2016, Bandoo was consuming alcohol at a neighbour’s house after which he went home and an argument ensued between himself and his wife. Consequently, he armed himself with a cutlass and inflicted several chops about the face and head of Somwar.
The woman was picked up and rushed to the Skeldon Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.
The post-mortem report, prepared by Dr Vivikanand Brijmohan recorded the cause of death as hemorrhage, along with multiple incised wounds.
Bandoo pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter. Meanwhile, in his caution statement, Bandoo confessed to the crime, while adding that he would usually give the now deceased woman all his money, but she had refused to give him finances to purchase alcohol. “She just kept nagging, telling me to stop drinking. I got annoyed and I picked up the cutlass and dealt her several chops,” he told the court.
Earlier, Senior Probation and Social Services Officer, Voonashewarie Gopal, submitted a probation report on the accused.
In the report, she noted that the accused described himself as a hard-working individual who preferred not to socialise. She said reports from the New Amsterdam Prison revealed that the accused is of good conduct. “Further, he rarely received visits from his relatives and was unable to make any telephone contact with them. On the 21 October 2014, the accused was arrested and charged with unlawful wounding committed against the deceased. However, the case was dismissed because the Virtual Complainant (deceased) did not wish to offer any evidence against the accused,” she said.
Attorney at Law Charrandas Persaud asked the court to be lenient since Bandoo did not waste the court’s time.
Persaud argued that Bandoo was himself a victim since he had been before the court for physical abuse against his wife.
“The system failed him by not providing the needed support and assistance to the accused,” he told the court.
Charrandas argued that the accused claimed that he was told hurtful words, such as: “You don’t have money to give me, I will get another man.”
However, Justice James Bovel-Drakes in handing down sentence said he was spared once when the woman opted not to give evidence against him. “He should have looked at it as a new start in life,” the trial judge said.
He said the court was considering that the injuries were to the face and head and the fact that the couple’s two children witnessed the act.
“She was not your dog. She was not your animal. She was not a piece of wood,” Justice Bovel-Drakes said.
The judge noted that a cutlass was used in carrying out the act and said if he was provoked he should have controlled himself.
Bandoo stood in the docks as tears rolled down his eyes.
The court took into consideration the fact that Bandoo spent two years incarcerated before trial, and then imposed the 20-year sentence.