Father convicted of killing three children in 2011 loses appeal

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Guyana’s Court of Appeal on Monday dismissed the appeal filed by John Blanchard, who is currently serving a life sentence for the gruesome murders of his three children.

Blanchard had moved to the Appeal Court, challenging the severity of his sentence. But in dismissing the petition, the Appeal Court reaffirmed that he must serve his life sentence, which affords the possibility of parole after serving 30 years imprisonment.

The appeal was heard by Chancellor (ag), Yonette Cummings-Edwards; Justice Dawn Gregory and, Justice Brassington Reynolds. The State was represented by prosecutor, Natasha Bakker while Blanchard was represented by attorney-at-law, Mark Conway.

The Chancellor, who delivered the ruling, said that the court did not find that the trial judge erred in law and dismissed the appeal. In 2016, Blanchard appeared before High Court Judge Jo-Ann Barlow charged with the murders but he opted to plea to the lesser count of manslaughter.

Blanchard, 39, had confessed that on October 11 2011, at Dr Charles Sand Road, Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara he killed his children – six-year-old Joy, four-year Daniel and 10-year-old Belika Blanchard.

Justice Barlow had sentenced Blanchard to life imprisonment and ordered that he will be eligible for parole after serving a period of 30 years in prison. Blanchard reportedly hacked his three children to death with two knives while they were asleep.

Belika and Daniel died that night, while Joy died a few days later at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Blanchard’s wife was working as a cook in the interior region and on the night in question, the couple was involved in a heated argument over the phone.

He ended the call and armed himself with two knives and went into the children’s bedroom while they were asleep and stabbed them repeatedly about their bodies.

Blanchard then telephoned his wife and told her what he had done.

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