Elderly man who ‘accidentally’ killed wife, buried her in bathroom sentenced to 4 more years

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Seventy-five-year-old Gordon Durant was on Thursday sentenced to serve four years in prison for the gruesome killing of his wife Joan Durant whose lifeless body was found buried in the bathroom of their Melanie North, East Coast Demerara (ECD) home in 2012.

Earlier this month, Gordon appeared before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow at the Demerara High Court for the capital offence of murder but opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.

He admitted to unlawfully killing his 50-year-old wife between June 26-28, 2012.

During his sentencing hearing on Thursday, a probation report was read in court by a social worker who revealed that Durant was well loved in his community due to his contribution to the development of the village.

As it relates to his attitude towards the crime, Durant told the probation officer that his wife’s death was accidental.

According to Durant, during a heated argument he pushed his wife and she “accidentally” hit her head and died.

The probation officer said that Durant claimed that he became afraid and decided to bury her body in their uncompleted washroom area.

The couple’s son, Gregory Perreira gave a written statement in court which was tendered and read by the State Prosecutor.

Peria recalled discovering his mother’s body, a memory that still haunts him.

“I am very upset and I cry whenever I remember the condition in which I found my mother. She did not deserve to die like that. So I am seeking justice for my mother or the maximum penalty… This is something I have to live with for the days of my life,” the statement read.

His lawyer, Dexter Smartt, during a plea of mitigation, said that his client has shown remorse for his actions and has made steps to rehabilitate himself.

Durant during his address to the court said, “ I’m very sorry… I’m asking for a second chance so I can live a peaceful life.”

The judge, in imposing the sentence, said that she considered that the crime stemmed from a domestic dispute and there was an attempt to conceal the crime.

The judge started the sentence at 21 years and made a one-third deduction for his early guilty plea.

This means that Durant will serve four years and the prison authorities will have to deduct the time spent on remand for his sentence. He has spent over the last 10 years on remand.

The State was represented by prosecutors Latifiah Elliot, Marisa Edwards, and Simran Gajraj.
According to reports, Joan’s decomposed body was found in an unfinished bathroom in the couple’s three-bedroom single-flat house on June 28, 2012, two days after she was reported missing by relatives.

Gordon had reportedly told the woman’s relative that his wife had packed a bag and moved out of the family home on June 26, 2012.

It is alleged that Gordon was abusive towards his wife
When arrested by police, Gordon reportedly admitted to killing his wife because she had threatened to leave him.

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