Dredge operator accused of setting man on fire acquitted due to poor Police work

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High Court Judge, Justice Navindra Singh on Thursday directed a 12-member jury to return a not guilty verdict against 50-year-old Rajesh Roopnarine who was on trial for the 2014 murder of David Campbell, whom he reportedly burned to death.

The trial commenced Thursday morning and concluded in three hours after a series of witnesses testified.

The Judge said that there was insufficient evidence in the case, stating the Police failed to conduct a proper investigation.

Justice Singh urged the jury to return a not guilty verdict and told Roopnarine to “stay clear from similar situations.” Roopnarine was on remand since 2014; he is now a free man.

Campbell was in his hammock relaxing after consuming alcohol with Roopnarine and other colleagues when he was sent on fire.

He sustained third-degree burns about his body and was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he died on December 6, 2014.

Roopnarine, known as ‘Popo’ of Alliance Road Timehri, East Bank Essequibo, was represented by Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes while the State was being represented by Teriq Mohammed, Abigail Gibbs and Tuanna Hardy.

Campbell was a chainsaw operator at the camp Roopnarine operated.

His brother, Steven Campbell along with colleagues, Jason Persaud and Etwaroo Karran, who were also in the camp when it was set alight but they managed to escape without injuries.

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