Life sentence for Tuschen man who hacked ex-mother-in-law, stepdaughter to death

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JAILED: Joshua Franklin

Forty-eight-year-old Joshua Franklin was on Wednesday sentenced to life imprisonment for hacking his former stepdaughter and mother-in-law to death almost five years ago.

Franklin, a former cane cutter, was initially charged with the December 18, 2014 murders of nine-year-old Ashley Boodhoo and 55-year-old Bibi Zalima Khan at Khan’s Tuschen Housing Scheme, East Bank Essequibo home.

However, earlier this month, he pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter in both cases before High Court Judge Justice Sandil Kissoon. A probation report was ordered and presented to the Court on Wednesday, when the Judge handed down the sentence.

Franklin was given the life imprisonment sentence on each charge, which will run concurrently. He will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years.

According to reports, Franklin’s then reputed wife, Geeta Boodhoo, had left their abusive relationship and moved in with her mother, Bibi Zalima Khan, in Tuschen Housing Scheme.

On the morning of December 18, 2014, Franklin broke into Khan’s home where his former reputed wife was staying along with her children, and found her in a compromising position with another male, Floyd Drakes.

He took up two cutlasses and chopped the woman, who managed to escape. He then turned on the man, hacking him to death before pursuing Khan and little Ashley.

The other children, after seeing what was taking place, retreated to a clump of bushes where they hid.

After inflicting his mayhem, Franklin went into hiding but was caught days later in the interior.

He was also charged with the murder of Drakes and that matter is expected to come up soon.

Boodhoo’s wrist was chopped off during the incident. Over the years, the mother of five had received assistance from several charitable organisations and individuals.