15 years jail for man who killed youth during robbery

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Joshua Meredith, 26, was on Wednesday sentenced to serve 15 years imprisonment for killing Gregory Garraway, who was gunned down during a robbery in front of Wings and Things Bar on Mandela Avenue, Georgetown in 2016.

Meredith was sentenced by Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the High Court for the offence of manslaughter.  He was initially charged with the capital offence of murder but opted to plead guilty to the lesser offence.

He admitted that on October 11, 2016, he unlawfully killed Garraway, 25, of Charlestown, Georgetown. During the plea hearing, Meredith’s attorney, Adrian Thompson, said that his client did not have a nice childhood and was influenced by the Warlock, East Ruimveldt community where he grew up.

On Wednesday, a probation report was read in court, which the judge deemed was unfavourable to Meredith’s case. According to the report, Meredith came from a single-parent home and was described as a delinquent while growing up; he also spent time in prison.

At age 15, Meredith dropped out of school and made his first appearance before a court for robbery under arms. Due to his age, Meredith was placed on a two-year bond for the offence.

Persons from the community described him as a “notorious criminal” and stated that the area has become pristine since he is behind bars. While behind bars, prison officials said that Meredith was disrespectful and disorderly, which caused him to be placed in solitary confinement. He was eventually transferred to the Mazaruni prison.

Meredith, while addressing the court, apologised for his actions. State prosecutor, Nafeeza Baig asked the court to consider that Garraway lost his life at a tender age and a weapon was used during the commission of the crime.

The judge sentenced Meredith to serve 15 years behinds bars and also told him to use the time to learn a trade or further his studies so that when he leaves the prison gates, he can contribute to society.

According to the facts, on October 2, 2016, at about 01:45h, Garraway was at Wings and Things Bar on Mandela Avenue and at the time he was wearing two chains around his neck.

Garraway went into the bar to place an order and as he was crossing the street to pick up the said order, Meredith snatched his chains.

A scuffle ensued and Garraway was shot in the chest. He then fell to the ground and the gunman made good his escape with the chain.

Garraway was hospitalised after the shooting, but succumbed to his injuries on October 11, 2016, at the Georgetown Public Hospital.  A post mortem examination revealed that he died from septic shock as a result of gunshot injuries to the abdomen.

Meredith was subsequently pointed out during an identification parade by the brother of Garraway, who was present at the time of the incident.

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