Shameer Ali was yesterday morning sentenced to 13 years behind bars for the 2013 stabbing death of his common-law wife Shaneza Ramdat, called ‘Reshma.’
Initially indicted for murder, Ali indicated through his attorney, Mark Conway, that he wanted to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, which was accepted by the Court and the state.
He accepted that on June 8, 2013, at Kuru Kururu Squatting Area, Linden-Soesdyke Highway, he unlawfully killed 23-year-old Ramdat.
Presenting the facts of the case, which Ali did no
t dispute, Prosecutor Shawnette Austin said that on the day in question, the two had an argument, which led to the fatal stabbing.
Acccording to the statement of an eyewitness, Ramdat ran out of the house during the argument, but fell while descending the stairs, at which point Ali held on to her and repeatedly hit her head against the rail of the stairs.
The court heard that the convict then whipped out a knife, with which he began stabbing the young woman to her neck and about the body before running into the bushes where he hid.
Ramdat was later found by her brother lying motionless on the ground in a pool of blood. Moments later, Ali, was seen under a tree with a knife in his hand and a cut which he had inflicted to his neck.
When asked if he was sorry for his actions as Conway had indicted, Ali promptly responded to Justice Jo-Ann Barlow, “Yes m’am, I am sorry and I beg the court for mercy and forgiveness.”
The judge told the convict that it was not for her to forgive him, but rather that he needed to seek forgiveness from his perceived supreme being, the family of the deceased and his own.
She, however, noted that the court would exercise mercy within the confines of the law, and to extent that it permits; after considering both the mitigating and aggravating circumstances of the case.
Justice Barlow told Ali that while he would want her to be merciful to him, too many domestic issues end in violence and there is a need for a strong message to be sent to society that the court would not condone such a trend.
The judge underscored the severity of the injuries the deceased sustained, while pointing out that from the post-mortem report Ramdat’s throat was slit and she was stabbed about the body at least 15 times.
According to the report, Ramdat died from those multiple incised wounds.
In a plea of mitigation, Conway begged the court to consider that Ali had pleaded guilty at the first given opportunity, thus saving the court considerable time in otherwise having to conduct a trial.
Counsel advanced also that his client has been a model prisoner from the time of his incarceration, and expressed the belief that he would contribute meaningfully to society, once given the chance.
The 46-year-old father of three and former cane cutter was sentenced to 12 years, two months in prison for his crime.
Justice Barlow commenced the sentence at base of 25 years. She thereafter deducted eight years for the guilty plea, three years and10 months for time spent on remand, and finally one year for the mitigating circumstances.
Finally, the judge ordered Ali, who nodded in agreement, to attend domestic counselling sessions while in prison.