Updated: May 27, 2022
Accusing the judge who conducted his trial of committing several errors, Rajesh Guyadeen, called “Bruckmans,” who in 2018 was sentenced to 70 years imprisonment for the 2003 murder of Nandram Manohar, is appealing his conviction and sentence.
In 2018, a 12-member jury had found Guyadeen, 41, guilty of murdering Manohar, called “Nando,” which occurred on May 4, 2003, at Lancaster, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara (ECD).
As such, he was sentenced to 70 years behind bars by Justice Navindra Singh. During that sentencing, Justice Singh said that from the evidence presented at the trial, he found that Guyadeen’s actions were premeditated.
“You lay in wait and stabbed the deceased,” the judge noted while starting Guyadeen’s sentence at 60 years and added ten years for the premeditated nature of the killing, which he said was an aggravating factor, coupled with the convict’s lack of remorse.
Dissatisfied with the sentence and conviction, the now 41-year-old man and his Attorney-at-Law, Brandon De Santos, moved to the Court of Appeal (CoA).
Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Teshana James-Lake appears on behalf of the State.
Advancing his case, De Santos stated that Prosecutor Abigail Gibbs told the jury that his client fled to neighbouring Suriname after committing the crime and was only arrested some 11 years after.
De Santos contended that the prosecutor’s assertion is prejudicial because it would invite the jury to conclude that the reason he was running was to get away from any liability he ought to have faced.
“When one was to examine what the probative value was, about him running away, it does little, if anything, to establish the ingredients necessary for a murder charge,” the attorney posited.
He added, “This running away aspect, in my respectful submission, did little, or anything, in terms of proving the elements of the charge of murder.”
As for the prosecution part, Prosecutor James-Lake rejected De Santos’ argument that the trial Judge did not properly put his client’s defence of alibi to the jury.
She recalled that Guyadeen opted to give sworn testimony and called witnesses to support his alibi that he was not in the country at the time of the crime.
On this note, Prosecutor James-Lake submitted that the convicted killer’s defence was broadly put to the jury by the trial Judge.
This appeal was heard by Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag) Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justices of Appeal Dawn Gregory-Barnes and Rishi Persaud.
It was reported that Guyadeen and Manohar were both at a wedding house on the night of May 4, 2003, when someone had alleged that Manohar had punctured Guyadeen’s bicycle wheel.
Sometime after, Manohar was heard crying out that he had been stabbed. The injured man was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), where he died while receiving treatment.
A Post Mortem Examination (PME) performed by Government Pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh on the remains of Manohar revealed that he died of perforation of the aorta and kidney as a result of a stab wound.
Guyadeen, who was the prime suspect, had allegedly fled the country after the killing and reportedly hid in neighbouring Suriname.
He returned to Guyana in December 2013 and was captured two months later after police raided several hotspots, one in which Guyadeen was caught smoking marijuana.