Five years after John Blanchard hacked three children to death in their Ivan Street, Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara home, he pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to life imprisonment, with the chance of parole after serving 30 years.
The sentence was handed down by Justice Jo-Ann Barlow in the High Court on Wednesday.
Blanchard was represented by Attorney-at-Law Maxwell McKay, while the State was represented by Attorneys Siand Dhurjon and Shawnette Austin.
A tearful Blanchard told the Court that “he didn’t know what got into him” when he committed the offence.
Reports are that about 22:30hrs on October 31, 2011, Blanchard went berserk and chopped the three children to death – his four-year-old son, Daniel; his six-year-old daughter, Joy and his 10-year-old stepdaughter, Belika Blanchard Singh, who were all asleep at the time. Two of the children died on the spot, while the third was admitted to hospital in critical condition and died two days later.
It was reported that the man and his family moved to Soesdyke three months prior to the fatal assault. He was described as a dedicated worker who sold boiled corn at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and in the city to maintain his family.
Blanchard was also described by neighbours as a family-oriented man, although he seemed to have had frequent arguments with his wife, Onica Blanchard.
Before the incident, his wife left their Soesdyke home to go into the hinterland and he did not approve of her decision.