Man given life sentence for killing 3 kids loses appeal

John Blanchard, his reputed wife, and the three children that he killed

The Appeal Court today upheld the life sentence handed down on a man, who was in 2016 sentenced to life imprisonment after he hacked his three children to death as they lay asleep.

John Blanchard, who was initially indicted for murder but opted to plead guilty to the lesser offence, had moved to the Court of Appeal challenging the sentence which was handed down in the High Court before Judge Jo-Ann Barlow.

He was handed a life sentence in relation to each of the killings with the possibility of becoming eligible for parole after serving 30 years.

The confessed killer, in his appeal, contended that the sentences are manifestly excessive and severe in all the circumstances of the case.

However, the Appeal Court did not agree and held that the sentencing was fair.

Chancellor of the Judiciary Yonette Cummings-Edwards posited that it was a case of three innocent children who were knifed to death because their father directed his anger at them over their mother/his wife refusing to return home from the interior.

Blanchard admitted that he chopped and stabbed his three young children: Joy, 6; Belika, 10; and Daniel, 4.

The incident occurred on October 11, 2011, at their home at Dr Charles Sand Road, Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara (EBD),

Belika and Daniel died almost instantly while Joy succumbed a day later after being hooked on a life support machine at the Georgetown Hospital Cooperation (GPHC).

According to reports, at the time of the incident, the children’s mother – Onica Blanchard had left for the interior where she sought a better job.

It is alleged that the chopping incident stemmed from a phone conversation Blanchard allegedly had with the woman moments before.

Blanchard, who sold clothing to sustain his family, had reportedly been experiencing difficulties with his companion. The couple had allegedly separated, with the woman leaving the children behind in the care of their father.