Following deliberations on Friday, a jury acquitted a 19-year-old man of the October 2016 murder of Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara businesswoman, Bibi Ali, whose bound and decomposed body was discovered in her home.
For legal reasons, the name and photograph of the teenager have been withheld from publication since he was juvenile, only 15, when it was alleged that he committed the crime.
The teen was on trial for the offence before Justice Navindra Singh at the High Court in Demerara. He was represented by Attorney-at-Law Bernard DaSilva, while State Counsel Tuanna Hardy appeared for the prosecutions.
According to media reports, the 56-year-old woman was discovered lying face down in her home by her nephew, who went to check on her after she was not seen for some time. Reports are that Ali, a mother of three, was found lying in a pool of blood in the bedroom of her two-storey home.
It was also reported that her hands and feet were bound and her head was bashed in. A hammer was found at the crime scene, and a post-mortem report revealed that she had been sexually assaulted. It was reported that Ali’s neck was broken and there were lacerations about her body.
The woman’s house was also ransacked, leading Police to suspect she might have been robbed and then killed. Ali had operated a business in the area, supplying farmers with pesticides and weedicides. She also sold phone cards and other items. Several of these items were missing.
Another man, 28-year-old Davanand Rampersaud, was also charged with Ali’s murder. However, last year Rampersaud appeared before the High Court and pleaded not guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.
As a consequence, he was sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum of 25 years.
In sentencing him, Justice Sandil Kissoon condemned the killing, stating that given the prevalence of the offence, the court had to impose a sentence that would serve as a deterrent.
The 19-year-old former murder accused and Rampersaud hailed from the same community as Ali.