30 years jail for ex-GDF rank who killed 8-month-old baby
A former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) soldier was on Wednesday sentenced to serve 30 years imprisonment, with the possibility of parole after serving 25 years, for the murder of 8-month-old Romain Seth, who was burnt to death after an arsonist torched his Third Field, Kaneville, East Bank Demerara home in 2017.
Nigel Dodson called “Little Man”, 24, also of Kaneville, was on trial before Justice Sandil Kissoon at the High Court for the capital offence of murder, which he denied.
Dodson was initially represented by attorney Maxwell McKay, but following Mr McKay’s death, attorney Adrian Thompson, stepped in after the prosecution closed its case. The State was represented by prosecutors, Nafeeza Baig and Shawnette Austin.
The jury, after deliberating for over two hours on Wednesday, found Dodson guilty of the offence, which read that on January 23, 2017, at Kaneville, he murdered Seth in the course or furtherance of an arson.
Following the sentencing, Dodson addressed the court and continued to claim his innocence.
Attorney Thompson, during his plea in mitigation, asked the court to consider Dodson’s age when he committed the act, noting that he can be rehabilitated.
Prosecutor Baig, however, asked the court to place weight on the fact that an 8-month-old innocent baby fell victim to this crime. Baig described Dodson as a menace to society and noted that 24 hours before he committed the crime, he threatened the baby’s grandmother.
The Prosecutor also pointed out that Dodson jammed the family’s door so that they could not escape, proving that his actions were premeditated. Dodson, when asked if he had anything to say after the verdict, showed no remorse.
Justice Kissoon said that the court has to balance the interest of justice while also considering the gravity of the offence. The judge took into consideration that a young life was lost and seven persons were left homeless due to Dodson’s crime.
In the end, the judge sentenced Dodson to serve 30 years imprisonment with the possibility of parole after serving 25 years. The News Room had reported that the toddler was burnt to death after his Kaneville home was set on fire.
The blaze started around 02:30h after Dodson and his friends threw “fireballs” into the house in which the infant and his family were sleeping.
The News Room understands that on the day in question, the police raided the area and Dodson and other hid guns and weed in the yard where the fire occurred. Reports indicate that when Dodson went back for the gun, he couldn’t find all of it, and so he made threats and burnt the house a day later.