Deadly Enmore rum shop brawl: Court of Appeal reduced life sentence to 12 years
A 23-year-old man who was sentenced to life imprisonment for manslaughter had his sentence reduced to 12 years on Monday by the Court of Appeal.
In 2017, Deosarran Bisnauth called “Strokes Mouth,” was sentenced by Justice Navindra Singh after a jury found him guilty of manslaughter. He was charged with the unlawful killing of Robert Mangal called “Trevor” on July 6, 2013, at Enmore, East Coast Demerara.
Bisnauth, who was 16 at the time, was initially indicted for murder. During his trial, Bisnauth had claimed that he acted in self-defence after the victim charged him with a rum bottle at a shop.
According to reports, on the day in question Bisnauth and Mangal were at a rum shop located at Enmore when a fight broke out between them. It is alleged that Mangal confronted Bisnauth with a rum bottle.
Bisnauth then armed himself with a piece of wood and dealt Mangal several lashes to the back of his head. Mangal fell to the ground and was rushed to the hospital, where he later died.
Bisnauth’s attorney, Stanley Moore, had filed an appeal contending that sentence was excessive, and the trial judge erred in law including on the elements of self-defense and the law on elements of provocation.
The appeal was heard by Chancellor (ag), Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justices of Appeal, Rishi Persaud and Dawn Gregory, at the Guyana Court of Appeal. The state was represented by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Dionne McCammon.
Delivering the ruling of the court, Justice Cummings-Edwards said, among other things, that Bisnauth should have not been sentence to life imprisonment given his age at the time the crime was committed.
The court informed Bisnauth that his sentence would be reduced to 12 years. As such the court allowed the appeal on the aspect of the sentence and not his conviction for manslaughter.
In doing so, the court relied on the CCJ case of Romeo Da Costa Hall vs The Queen in which it was held that full credit should be granted for the time an accused person spent in pre-trial custody.
The court further ordered that the sentence would take effect from the date of conviction.