An Enmore man was yesterday morning sentenced to 23 years behind bars by Justice Sandil Kissoon after he admitted to killing a drinking companion, whose body was subsequently burnt and buried in a shallow grave to hide the crime.
Initially indicted for the capital offence of murder was Joel Narine Persaud, who pleaded not guilty to murdering Gangaram Bharat, called ‘Bumpy,’ at Enmore, East Coast Demerara, between June 28th and July 4th of 2012.
He, however, admitted guilt at the High Court in Georgetown to the lesser count of manslaughter for unlawfully killing Bharat.
The facts presented by Prosecutor Orinthia Schmidt stated that the two, who were known to each other, had been drinking when the accused asked Bharat to leave his home but the latter refused and an argument ensued.
This, she said, led to a scuffle between the two during which Persaud dealt Bharat several blows to his head with a sledgehammer, causing him to fall to the ground.
Thereafter, she added, the accused burnt the man’s body and later placed it into a shallow grave at the side of his home.
The prosecutor said that the assailant then fled to Berbice in his attempt to flee to neighbouring Suriname but he was intercepted by police days after, and was arrested and charged.
The cause of Bharat’s death was given as cerebral haemorrhage as a result of blunt trauma to the head.
After considering both aggravating and mitigating circumstances of the case, Justice Kissoon imposed the 23-year sentence upon Persaud.
The state’s case was presented by Schmidt, in association with Prosecutor Lisa Cave.
Meanwhile, Persaud was represented by attorney Maxwell McKay.