‘Pone’ challenges 14-year sentence for 2014 wedding house killing

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Murder accused: Navindra Basdeo

A 25-year-old man who was on May 15, 2019, sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment for the unlawful killing of Karan Sukhdeo during a row at a wedding house in 2014, has moved to the Court of Appeal (COA) to challenge the sentence.

Navindra Basdeo, also known as “Pone” of Johanna North, Black Bush Polder, Berbice, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), was indicted for murder by High Court Judge Justice Jo-Ann Barlow.

However, a jury found Basdeo not guilty of the capital offence but convicted him on a manslaughter charge.

Following the sentencing, Basdeo through his attorney Mursaline Bacchus contended that his verdict was “unreasonable” and cannot be supported by the evidence produced during the trial.

He further contended that the law of “omissions, inconsistencies, and contradictions” was not fittingly presented to the jury. He added that the prosecution’s case was not correctly detailed to the jury by the Judge. Hence, the jury arriving at a conviction.

It was alleged that on August 23, 2014, he unlawfully killed Sukhdeo, also known as “Vishal.”

It was reported that the accused and the deceased were at a wedding house in their village when a fight erupted between them. Persons reportedly parted the men but the deceased’s body was later discovered in the corner of a drain in the area where the fight began.

During the trial, Basdeo told the court that he was at the wedding house when Sukhdeo, who was armed, approached him and dragged him onto the roadway. He further alleged that Sukhdeo then attacked him.

Dead: Karan Sukhdeo

The accused had sustained injuries to his head. He also claimed that at no point was he armed.

But a post-mortem examination revealed that Basdeo died as a result of two stab wounds to his heart. It was further revealed that other parts of his body had stab wounds, resulting in shock and haemorrhage.

In imposing the sentence, Justice Barlow informed him that four years were being deducted for mitigating factors, in addition to the time he had already spent on remand awaiting trial.