Dhupaul Singh of Helena Number Two, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, also called “Tailor Man”, who was on trial before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow and a mixed 12-member jury for allegedly murdering a Mahaica farmer, was today (Monday) sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole until 2041.
The trial commenced on Wednesday and both the prosecution and defence closed their cases on Friday. After almost two hours of deliberation today, the jury delivered a unanimous verdict of guilty. After the verdict was delivered, the Judge delivered the life sentence, telling the defendant that he has no chance of parole until he has served 25 years in prison.
The murder charge for which Singh faced trial read that on September 2, 2014, at Helena Number Two, he murdered Balkissoon, also known as “Balkay”. The defendant was represented by Attorney Madan Kissoon while the State was represented by Attorneys Siand Dhurjon and Shawnette Austin.
During the Preliminary Inquiry at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court, it was revealed that Singh, a known drug addict, reportedly confessed to chopping the 52-year-old farmer of Lot 107 Helena Number Two to his neck.
The man succumbed to his injuries shortly after the incident. Investigators thought that it was premeditated murder, since earlier in the day, the farmer warned the suspect to leave his premises. Singh reportedly left but staked out the man’s farm.
Balkissoon later reportedly left for lunch and it was while he was on his way back to the farm, he was attacked and killed. Moments before the chopping incident, the suspect was also chased from another farm.
Two Police witnesses gave their testimonies at the High Court.
The key witness also testified to seeing the entire ordeal. Satesh Ramdhani, a friend of the victim’s son, related that on the day of the incident, he was on the farm where the chopping incident took place. He gave a detailed account of what transpired.
Additionally, the dead man’s sons, Ravi and Hemchand Balkissoon gave testimony along with three Police Witnesses.
On Thursday, the defence presented and closed their case. The defendant, in his statement said “He fire a chop on me and I fire one back on he,” while maintaining that it was done in self defence.
Attorney Madan Kissoon, in his closing address to the jury pointed out several inconsistencies in witnesses’ testimonies. He suggested that the dead man’s sons and the eyewitness corroborated their stories so as to exact revenge on the defendant. He also stated that his client acted in self defence after he was attacked by Balkissoon.
However, Prosecutor Dhurjon refuted this, saying that the Defence Counsel was pointing out these alleged inconsistencies to distract the jury from the heart of the matter; that is, Singh brutally murdered Balkissoon. He reflected on the defendant’s statement where he said he and Balkissoon never had any disputes or altercation, but that on that day he was acting in self defence after the now dead man attacked him.