50 cases heard in Demerara’s April Criminal Assizes; 33 disposed


Out of the 281 cases presented in the Demerara April Criminal Assizes, 50 were heard, 33 of which were disposed by the State.

In a statement issued on Friday last, the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) said during the assizes which commenced on April 4, 2023, 17 matters were presented in the High Court.

Out of the cases, the DPP said 10 were for murder while four were related to sexual offences and the other one was an attempted murder.

The presiding Judges were Justice Sandil Kissoon, Justice Navindra Singh and Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

Altogether, the DPP said there was a total of 18 accused in these matters.

“There were 4 convictions, 4 verdicts of not guilty, 5 guilty pleas, 2 formal verdicts of not guilty and 1 mistrial,” the DPP noted.

Two matters are ongoing.

The remaining 18 matters were nolle prosequi, meaning that the DPP did not proceed with prosecution of these cases.

And out of these matters, seven complainants submitted written statements indicating that they did not wish to proceed with their cases while two accused died and the other nine complaints could not be located.

In a summary breakdown of the cases, the DPP explained that in three of the murder cases, the Judges upheld no case submissions and directed the juries to return formal verdicts of not guilty while the accused in another four of the matters pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter and are awaiting sentence.

In another of the murder cases, the DPP said the accused was acquitted by a unanimous jury verdict of not guilty, while two matters are still ongoing.

Meanwhile, in the Sexual Offences Court, a total of four cases were prosecuted.

“ln 2 of these, the juries returned not guilty verdicts; in one other, the court declared a mistrial and ordered the accused, who was charged with 5 counts of Sexual Offences to face a retrial after the jury failed to reach a decisive verdict.

“ln the other one, the accused who was indicted on two counts, rape and assault causing grievous bodily harm was acquitted on the rape charge by a majority 10 to 2 jury verdict, but found unanimously guilty of assault causing grievous bodily harm. He is awaiting sentencing,” the statement noted.

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