Twenty-nine-year-old Rawle Samuels, who accepted responsibility for the killing of a four-year-old at Buck Hill, Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) was on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment by Justice Nareshwar Harnanan at the High Court in Georgetown.
Samuels will only get the chance at obtaining freedom if he is granted parole. However, the court ruled that he must first serve 30 calendar years before he can obtain this privilege.
The murdered boy, Jamal Nedd, was stabbed to death in February 2013 following an altercation Samuels had with the boy’s aunt, Felicia Tello.
According to reports, the lad’s mother had left him in the care of Samuels, with whom she had shared a relationship. During the dispute, the boy’s aunt ran out of the house as Samuels came charging after her. The boy then shouted for her to run and Samuels turned his attention to Nedd and stabbed the youth five times, reportedly leaving the knife in his back.
Before the sentence was handed down, the accused in streams of tears, begged the court for mercy, highlighting that he was separated from his two children. He added that these children would have to grow up without a father. Samuels further noted that his past actions caused people to live in fear. His probation report, however, reflected that Samuels had a history of aggression and violence towards women.
In the probation report, which was presented to the court, neighbours and family members described Samuels as a hard working individual, who was well mannered and did not show violence in his home village of Wismar, Linden. Other residents, from their knowledge, however claimed that Samuels was an abusive partner.
In 2010, he was arrested for assault by way of causing bodily harm to the first woman with whom he had shared a relationship. The woman reported that she had the intention of ending their union but this disclosure only angered Samuels who reportedly assaulted her. She was said to have suffered a fractured right jaw. This case was however dismissed after the complainant declined to offer evidence against the accused, opting to completely break off ties with the man instead.
Nisha Naranjan, mother of the deceased child that Samuels killed, had known the accused from their days of youth. They started a relationship in 2009 in the midst of his separation from his former reputed wife that he allegedly assaulted. Naranjan later accused him of being unfaithful and she recalled an incident where Samuels burnt her with a hot electric iron after she had refused to iron his clothes. She said she left him 2011 but the probation report highlighted that the accused man still maintained a relationship with her four year son, Jamal. The probation report further stated that Samuels had fathered a child with his first reputed wife whilst sharing a common-law union with Naranjan. The report also noted that Samuels, a former porkknocker, felt sad and disappointed at being incarcerated and that he showed concern for the stigma that was attached to his name. He was also described as a prisoner who exhibited good behaivour, in the report. The now convicted man was represented by Defence Counsel Maxwell McKay while Prosecutors Siand Dhurjon, Shawnette Austin and Lisa Cave presented the State’s case. (SHEMUEL FANFAIR)