Amernauth Chand, the Annandale man charged with killing his son two years ago, was yesterday morning sentenced to 14 years in jail for the crime of manslaughter.
Appearing before Justice Navindra Singh moments after the ceremonial opening of the Demerara criminal session, Chand, who was initially indicted for murder, threw himself at the mercy of the court and pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The 49-year-old man accepted that on September 29th, 2016, he unlawfully killed his son, Mahesh Chand, whom he stabbed in the chest after the young man intervened to stop an argument between the parents.
Relating the facts of the case, Prosecutor Abigail Gibbs said that on the day in question, the offender and his wife had a heated argument over $300, during which Mahesh, the couple’s eldest child, intervened.
Gibbs said that in his attempt to make peace, Mahesh proceeded to give his mother the $300 she wanted. This, the prosecutor said, angered his father, who armed himself with a cutlass and stabbed his son once in the chest.
Gibbs said that prior to inflicting the injury, Amernauth remarked that Mahesh always sided with his mother.
The entire incident, she said, was witnessed by the young man’s mother and sister.
Gibbs added that Mahesh was rushed to the hospital for medical attention but succumbed to the wound.
The court heard that he died from a perforation of the heart due to a stab wound.
Given a chance to speak, an apologetic Chand said he was truly sorry for what he had done. He apologised to both the court and his family, who he said he misses tremendously.
Recalling that his son was only 24 years old at the time he met his demise, Chand expressed hope that his wife and four other children could one day forgive him for taking their son and brother away.
Stating that he has since taken steps to change his life around by devoting himself to God, Chand begged Justice Singh to be merciful in sentencing him.
In a mitigating plea, defence attorney Keoma Griffith asked the judge to consider that Chand had no antecedents and had fully accepted responsibility for his actions at the first given opportunity, thereby saving the court considerable time in otherwise having to conduct trial.
He, too, begged the judge to be lenient in sentencing, while advancing that there is no evidence that his client would be a danger to the public.
For her part, however, the prosecutor said that while Chand seemed genuinely remorseful and should be shown mercy, it had to be balanced with the message to be sent to society that such crimes would not be condoned by the courts.
In imposing sentence, Justice Singh said in accordance with recent rulings by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), he would be commencing at a base of 25 years.
From that he deducted eight years for Chand’s guilty plea and an additional three years for his expression of remorse.
From the remaining 14 years, he told Chand the he was making an order that prison authorities do the necessary calculations and deduct the time he would have spent behind bars on remand, awaiting trial.
Additionally, the judge admonished the tearful offender to participate in programmes the prison may have to deal with managing anger and outbursts.