‘Who really killed Isaiah Henry?’ – Lawyer questions as charge dismissed against duo

-  reiterates call for forensic help in solving murder


Two men who are accused of the brutal murders of teen cousins, Isaiah and Joel Henry, were on Tuesday relieved of the charges of murder relating to Isaiah by Magistrate Peter Hugh when they appeared at the Fort Wellington Magistrate’s Court.

The magistrate, in his ruling, agreed with defence lawyer, Dexter Todd’s submission that the State did not produce any admissible evidence for the murder charges to stand.

Those charged were 34-year-old Anil Sancharra, called “Dan pole” and “Rasta,” of D’ Edward Village, West Coast Berbice (WCB); and 30-year-old Vinod Gopaul, called “Magga,” of Yakusari, Black Bush Polder, Corentyne, Berbice.

Speaking to the News Room by phone, Todd reminded that although a third man was charged – 20-year-old Akash Singh, called “Monkey,” of Zeelugt Squatting Area, East Bank Essequibo (EBE) – Sancharra and Gopaul were jointly charged because the police claimed a confession statement was given by Singh.

Akash Singh

Todd also explained that the preliminary inquiry for Isaiah was separated from that of Joel.

Last week, the PI for Isaiah was completed against the duo and Todd had always maintained throughout the PI that there was no “real” evidence against Gopaul and Sancharra.

“I do not understand why they were charged,” Todd told the News Room on Tuesday after the ruling which agreed with his submissions that there no admissible evidence against the duo.

The court has set August 10, 2021, for the commencement of the PI into Joel’s murder. Although the two have been discharged of the murder of Isaiah, they remain on remand until the PI into Joel’s murder is complete.

But according to Todd, “it is the same evidence that is likely to come in Joel Henry’s PI that was produced in Isaiah’s PI so they will likely walk again.”

Dead: Isaiah and Joel Henry

The attorney claims that all the evidence produced by the prosecution were “formal” evidence that did not implicate any individual.  He said the witnesses they took statements from later appeared in court and told the Magistrate that they did not tell the police some of the things that were included in the written statements.

“They were allowed to only give evidence from what they know and from what they know these guys were not implicated in the murder,” Todd added.

He said of interest was the DNA evidence which was also inconclusive.

“All those samples that they took, nothing was able to connect that it was blood belonging to either of the two guys.”

Todd said this has supported calls by others for forensic help in relation to the murder.

“So at the end of the prosecution’s case, there was a big question mark, who really killed Isaiah? There was nothing, these guys maintain that they were not part of it,” Todd added.

The police had claimed that the three men murdered the cousins between September 5, 2020, and September 6, 2020, at Cotton Tree Backdam, WCB.

Singh had allegedly told his relatives and another person about the crime and his role in it. One of the persons he told informed the police and Singh was then arrested at his Zeelugt house and later told detectives of the others who were involved.

Todd said although he is representing the accused pro bono, he stands willing to represent Singh if the matter goes to the High Court. According to Todd, Singh has maintained his innocence at each court hearing and claimed he never gave the police a confession.

Todd believes the police concocted a story of a man who cannot read or write and went to Court hoping for the best.

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