Updated: May 27, 2022
The prison sentence for 51-year-old Balram Singh, who was convicted of murder back in 2015 was on Wednesday reduced by 45 years by the Court of Appeal.
Singh, formerly of East Bank Demerara (EBD) resident, was found guilty of murder over the death of Bhomeshwar Sukhdeo, a taxi driver, whose burnt remains were dumped on the Mocha Access Road, EBD in January 2010.
As a result, he was sentenced to 80 years behind bars by Justice Navindra Singh. Not satisfied, the 51-year-old man moved to the Court of Appeal, asking for his conviction and sentence to be set aside.
Among other things, the convicted killer claimed that the trial judge failed to adequately put his defence to the jury. In fact, he argued that the jail term was manifestly excessive and not in keeping with established sentencing guidelines.
Chancellor (ag) Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justices of Appeal Dawn Gregory-Barnes and Rishi Persaud heard the appeal.
In delivering the court’s ruling, Justice Cummings-Edwards noted that the sentence imposed was extremely out of character but affirmed the conviction.
Media reports are that Sukhdeo was killed between January 19 and January 27, 2010, after he was kidnapped and robbed of his vehicle. His charred remains were discovered in Mocha, EBD, days after he had gone missing. He was reportedly shot to the head and his body burnt.
In a caution statement given to the Police by Singh, he admitted that he and an associate murdered the father of two after shooting him to the left side of the neck with a .38 revolver and later dumped his body.
The convict related that on January 19, 2010, he and his associate went to Georgetown. He said that while he waited, his associate returned in a white car driven by Sukhdeo. According to the caution statement, they then drove to Agricola where Sukhdeo was told to stop.
It was then, Singh said, his associate pulled out a gun from a haversack he was carrying and shot Sukhdeo to the head. They then drove the dead man’s vehicle to Eccles, EBD, where they dumped his body in the bushes.
They later retrieved the body from Eccles and took it to Mocha, where they burnt it.