“Good luck!” – Judge tells teen jailed for revenge killing

Jailed: Richard Harrychand
Jailed: Richard Harrychand

A 19-year-old labourer has been sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for killing a teenager with whom his brother had had an old grievance.

Richard Harrychand of Supenaam, Essequibo Coast appeared before Justice Navindra Singh at the Essequibo High Court on May 18, initially indicted for the capital offence of murder, but he opted on Wednesday to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter. He admitted that on June 2, 2019, in the county of Essequibo, he unlawfully killed 17-year-old Clive Osbourne.

Sentencing for Harrychand has been put off to Wednesday in order to facilitate the presentation of a probation report on him. He was represented by Attorney-at-law Lachmi Dindayal, while State Counsel Tiffini Lyken appeared on behalf of the prosecution.

During his address to the court, Harrychand admitted to stabbing Osbourne as revenge for his brother. He, however, expressed remorse for his action. “I am truly sorry for the loss,” the confessed killer said.

According to reports, on June 2, 2019, Osborne was with a group of friends at a shop on the Essequibo Coast when a fight broke out between him and Harrychand, during which
Harrcychand stabbed him to his head, chest, and abdomen with a knife.

The teen was picked up in an unconscious state and rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. His cause of death has been given as perforation of the heart due to stab wounds.

In a plea in mitigation, Harrychand’s lawyer told the court Harrychand is “very sorry” for what had happened. According to defence counsel, the circumstance surrounding Osbourne’s death was a “spur-of-the-moment.” The lawyer said Harrychand has no prior convictions, and that he cooperated with the Police in all aspects of the investigation.

According to Dindayal, Harrychand is the sole breadwinner for his mother, who is a wheelchair user. “He is a very pivotal part of his family. He is determined to change, and to be a good person,” said Dindayal, who described Harrychand as a very quiet, honest, and industrious man.

The lawyer also said that Harrychand has been a well-behaved prisoner.

For her part, prosecutor Lyken urged the court to consider the fact that a knife had been used to inflict injuries on the now dead man.

“The accused [Harrychand] action went over and above of what can be described as necessary…,” she noted.

In the end, Justice Singh advised Harrychand to take the various courses offered by the prison.

“Make sure when you come out [of prison] you have something better under your belt, education or skill-wise. Good luck!” the Judge said to Harrychand before he was taken away to begin serving his sentence.

In calculating an appropriate sentence, Justice Singh started at a base of 30 years, from which he made several deductions for mitigating factors, favourable probation report, early guilty plea, and Harrychand’s “youthfulness”. [Guyana Times]