Man accused of stabbing neighbour to death freed by High Court

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After being behind bars for over three years on a charge of murder, Sheldon Bowen, called ‘Muslim’, was freed by the High Court on Monday after Justice Navindra Singh upheld a No-case submission made by his attorney, Siand Dhurjon.

Bowen, a father of six, formerly of Bagotstown, East Bank Demerara (EBD), was charged with the murder of 44-year-old Mark Ifill, known as ‘Yankee’, who was stabbed to death on April 25, 2017, during an argument at the Bagotstown property.

On Monday morning, the trial commenced before a 12-member mixed jury, and Bowen pleaded not guilty to the charge; Prosecutors Tyra Bakker and Teriq Mohammed represented the State, while a total of nine witnesses testified.

After the State closed their case, attorney Dhurjon submitted that the defence has no case to answer since the prosecution failed to disapprove the case of the defence that Bowen acted in self-defence.

In his No-case submission, Dhurjon argued that the prosecution also failed to lead any evidence to disapprove that Ifill could have caused his own injuries by falling on the murder weapon.

According to Dhurjon, on the day in question, his client was attacked by Ifill, who was armed with the knife. At the time, Ifill was trespassing on Bowen’s property and was damaging his pipes in an attempt to steal water.

While also placing weight on the medical certificate, which was admitted into evidence during the hearing, Dhurjon contended that it proved that his client received injured cause by Ifill when he acted in self-defence.

Justice Singh agreed with the submission of the defence and directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty. Reports indicated that the two men had a heated argument over the removal of a GWI water pipe.

The argument soon turned into a physical altercation, during which Bowen reportedly dealt Ifill a blow to the head with an object.  Residents quickly intervened and parted the fight.

But Bowen would return minutes later with a knife and stabbed Ifill to the left region of his chest.  Ifill collapsed a short distance away; a team of medical personnel from the Georgetown Public Hospital responded and pronounced him dead at the scene.

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