Husband and wife get 40 years each for murder of Patentia miner

Vishwantie Ragnauth and Nyron Thakurdyal being escorted to the lockups by police, after the jury found them guilty of the 2014 Boxing Day murder of Sunil Ramsundar.

Nyron Thakurdyal and Vishwantie Ragnauth, the husband and wife who were convicted for the 2014 murder of Patentia miner Sunil Ramsundar were yesterday sentenced to 40 years imprisonment each.

Their sentences were handed down by Justice Sandil Kissoon following the presentation of probation reports. The sentences come less than two weeks after they were found guilty of murdering Ramsundar on December 26th, 2014.

A teary eyed Vishwantie Ragnauth (centre) being escorted from the Courtroom after being sentenced for the murder of Sunil Ramsundar.

Presenting the reports was Senior Probation Officer, Zola Cameron-Reuben who in the case of Thakurdyal said investigations done saw the man being described by community members as “withdrawn.”

 She further noted that while there were no records that would indicate that he was ever arrested or charged by the police here, there is a record that speaks to his deportation from the US in 2003 for narcotics possession.

Sunil Ramsundar

Cameron-Reuben also told the court that Thakurdyal in the years following his deportation established himself as a businessman selling hygiene products. She said that the 39-year-old man is the father of six children ages 6 to 19.

Regarding her interaction with the man following his conviction, the Probation Officer explained that while Thakurdyal said he was sorry that a life was lost as a result of the incident, he maintained his innocence, saying that he had only intervened as a peacemaker.

In the case of 38-year-old Ragnauth, the probation officer told the court that unlike her

Nyron Thakurdyal (centre) as he was being escorted back to the holding cell at the High Court following his sentencing.

spouse, the woman was described as having been “disrespectful and disorderly” by residents in the community where she had resided prior to being in custody.

Additionally, reports painted the mother of three as being physically and verbally abusive to two of her former partners. It was also noted that she would have struck up a relationship with Thakurdyal in 2013 with whom she allegedly frequently indulged in the imbibing of   alcohol and use of illicit drugs.

With regard to the recent conviction, Cameron-Reuben said Ragnauth expressed remorse for what happened and has asked the family of the deceased for forgiveness. She has also sought the forgiveness of her three children for not being able to be there for them.

 Meanwhile, attorney Nigel Hughes in mitigation asked the court to consider that there is no evidence that speaks to the intent of the duo to commit murder.

He also asked that the court take into consideration that the probation report showed that it was not Thakurdyal’s disposition to exhibit violent behaviour.

 However, State Counsel Lisa Cave in her address asked the court to consider that the incident stemmed from a “senseless and unprovoked” attack carried out by Thakurdyal and Ragnauth, before adding that there is no evidence that Ramsundar was threatening the two accused.  Before the sentences were handed down, both Thakurdyal and Ragnauth were given the opportunity to address the court during which they begged the court to be lenient. “I would like to express remorse for what happened and I am begging for leniency for my sentence…Please give me a sentence that would allow me to go out there and be a constructive father to my children,” Thakurdyal said.

His spouse said, “I am sorry for what happened, I lost an uncle that day too…please have mercy on me, I have three children at home who need me.”

Justice Kissoon in handing down his sentence said while the court was moved by the plea of mitigation made by Hughes and the remorse shown by the duo in open court, the evidence presented in court speaks to the “cruel and callous” attack on Ramsundar, who if the evidence is to be believed, was a helpless victim.

 This being said, each sentence was started at a base of 50 years with 10 years being taken off for time spent in custody, the plea of mitigation presented by the defence and the remorse shown by Thakurdyal and Ragnauth.

 As a result of the years taken off, Thakurdyal and Ragnauth were each sentenced to 40 years in prison.

While Thakurdyal exited the courtroom calmly, Ragnauth burst into tears.

Throughout their trial, the evidence of various witnesses, including from the daughter of the deceased, Zalena Ramsundar, and from the accused in their own unsworn statements, confirmed that there was an altercation between the three on the night that Ramsundar died. What was in dispute, however, was whether the fatal injuries Ramsundar sustained were as a result of the altercation.

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