Appeal Court upholds conviction of man who killed cousins but reduces prison term

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A man who was sentenced to 62 years imprisonment for killing his two cousins in 2017, had his sentence reduced to 25 years on Thursday by the Court of Appeal on the grounds that the initial sentence was excessive.

In 2017, Abdul Budhoo was indicted on two counts of murder before Justice Navindra Singh at the Demerara High Court for the September 30, 2012 killings of his cousins, Shaheed and Imran Bacchus – two brothers.

The jury found Budhoo guilty of the murder committed on Imran and he was sentenced to 62 years imprisonment; he was, however, found guilty of the lesser count of manslaughter committed on Shaheed and was sentenced to 32 years imprisonment.

Budhoo’s attorney, Mark Conway had filed an appeal challenging the conviction and sentences against his client on the grounds that they were excessive.

The appeal was heard by Chancellor (ag), Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justices of Appeal, Dawn Gregory, and Rishi Persaud, at the Court of Appeal. The State was represented by Prosecutor Teshana Lake.

Delivering the ruling of the court, Justice Dawn Gregory said, among other things, that the trial judge erred in the determination of the term of sentence.

The Appeal Court affirmed Budhoo’s convictions but reduced his murder sentence from 62 years to 25 years, seven months.  As it relates to the manslaughter conviction, his sentence was reduced from 32 years to 20 years, seven months.  The court ordered that the sentences are served concurrently.

According to reports, on September 30, 2012, at Industrial Area, Mackenzie, Linden, Budhoo was involved in an altercation with his two cousins over an old grievance. During the scuffle, Budhoo stabbed Shaheed four times; he then turned his attention to Imran and stabbed him to the heart.

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