Man gets 10 years for killing cousin during drunken brawl


Phillip Sutherland who last month withdrew his guilty plea for unlawfully killing his cousin Martin Roberts during a drunken row at Rupununi in 2014, once again pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter on Wednesday.

Phillip Sutherland

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison by High Court judge Justice Sandhill Kissoon on Wednesday.

Sutherland, a farmer and former clerk admitted that he caused Roberts death on January 9, 2014 at a Kwaimatta Village Farm after consuming yeast tonic, a strong indigenous alcoholic beverage.

While the judge did not openly express how his sentence was computed, Justice Kissoon did note that mitigating factors, aggravating factors and time spent awaiting trial were considered.

“The court hopes that you continue the path to rehabilitation,” Kissoon observed.

Sutherland’s attorney Siand Dhurjon in pleas of mitigation had earlier noted that his client and his brother, Franklin Sutherland, were initially charged with murdering their cousin. The sibling was however released on insufficient evidence.

It was reported that the brothers and Roberts travelled to the Kawimatta Village Farm and were returning home when the trio began to imbibe but shortly after a fight ensued, which resulted in Roberts being thrown to the ground and brutally beaten to an unconscious state.

He was subsequently pronounced dead.

Roberts died from asphyxiation, a broken larynx and blunt trauma to the head.


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