A 60-year jail term imposed on Albouystown, Georgetown resident, Steve Allicock for the December 31, 2009 murder of Wendell Tappin, was on Monday reduced to 25 years by the Guyana Court of Appeal.
Following a trial in 2017, Allicock was found guilty of the offence by a 12-person jury. He was subsequently sentenced to 60 years’ imprisonment by Justice Navindra Singh.
Tappin, 33, was killed at Hill Street, Albouystown. It was reported that on the day in question, a crowd of persons including members of Steve Allicock’s family, who were armed with knives, cutlasses, and pieces of wood were in hot pursuit of Tappin. They reportedly accosted him.
A witness said that Randolph Allicock held on to Tappin’s shirt and placed a knife to his throat. He then kicked him to the ground while other persons surrounded him and lashed him in the head.
The witness said that Steve Allicock stabbed Tappin in the region of his heart. The witness also told the court that he noticed blood flowing from Tappin’s chest. According to the witness, Natasha Tappin, Wendell Tappin’s sister, picked him up and placed him in a vehicle and left for the hospital.
The injured man was admitted to the hospital but he subsequently died. His cause of death was given as haemorrhage due to stab wounds to the heart. Contacted in May 2015, Steve Allicock denied killing the man, stating that he was out of the jurisdiction and could not have been at the crime scene.
Displeased with the decision of the High Court, Steve Allicock, through his lawyer, Mark Conway, mounted an appeal against his conviction and sentence. He argued that the conviction cannot stand given the evidence presented during the trial. He contended that the 60 years’ jail term was excessive in all the circumstances of the case.
The Court of Appeal rejected almost all of the grounds of appeal advanced by the murder convict. The Judges agreed that the only ground that had merit was the contention that the sentence was severe given the circumstances of the case.
The court, therefore, upheld Steve Allicock’s conviction for murder and allowed his appeal only on the aspect of the sentence.
“We are of the view that the sentence is indeed harsh in the circumstances. Accordingly, a sentence of 25 years would have been more appropriate had the trial Judge taken into account the World Health Organisation life expectancy, and the appropriate guidelines as would have been given from cases in this court in relation to sentence.”
The aforementioned was underscored by Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, who announced that the sentence would be reduced from 60 to 25 years, and time spent on remand deducted to reflect the principles outlined in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) case of Romeo Da Costa Hall vs The Queen.
Media reports are that Steve Allicock’s uncle, Randolph Allicock, and father, Leonard Allicock, had all been charged with the murder of Tappin. Following a trial before Justice Diana Insanally, Leonard Allicock was acquitted by a jury.