Life imprisonment for trio who robbed, murdered vendor


Three men were on Thursday sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2017 murder of 51-year-old Dhanpaul Dookie called ‘Pauline’, who was killed at his Uitspa Village, Soesdyke-Linden Highway house during an invasion.

In May, Chandrapaul Persaud, 50; 61-year-old Heralall Ramdhan, and Jagishwar Dhanai, 36, were convicted by a mixed 12-member jury before Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

The trio had denied that between July 24 and 27, 2017, at Uitspa Village in the Demerara River, they murdered Dookie during the course or furtherance of a robbery.

During a sentencing hearing on Thursday, the trio begged the victim’s family for forgiveness and asked the court for a second chance so they can return to their families.

The State Prosecutor highlighted the nature of the crime and the fact that knives and an axe were used by the men to kill Dookie, a vendor. Among other things, the Prosecutor also asked the court to send a strong message to deter like-minded offenders.

In imposing the sentence, Justice Sewnarine-Beharry presented the following facts: Persaud had observed Dookie in possession of a stack of $5,000 notes, and together with the other two convicts, plotted to rob and murder him.

Dead: Dhanpaul Dookie

The trio provided the Police with caution statements detailing their roles in the crime; the Judge characterized the murder as a “deliberate and premeditated” act.

In determining suitable sentences for each convict, the Judge considered several aggravating factors, including the prevalence of felony murder, the emotional distress inflicted upon Dookie’s family due to his death, and the severity of injuries inflicted upon the victim.

Despite the presence of “cogent evidence” incriminating them in the crime, Persaud, Ramdhan, and Dhanai maintained their innocence. The Judge noted that Ramdhan committed the murder while on bail for attempted murder.

However, the Judge said that the mitigating factors outweighed the aggravating factors; these included the convicts’ cooperation with law enforcement during their arrest, no infractions while in prison, their upbringing in dysfunctional families, and limited education and intellect, which may have influenced their poor choices.

After evaluating the convicts’ expressions of remorse, Justice Sewnarine-Beharry concluded that Dhanai displayed genuine remorse for his criminal actions. Consequently, each convict was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Persaud and Ramdhan can apply for parole after 30 years, while Dhanai can do so after 20 years. The Judge further ordered the Director of Prisons to ensure that all three convicts enroll in literacy and anger management programmes.

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