This morning the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial for 27-year-old Ravindra Paremdass, who was sentenced to 57 years in prison for the alleged murder of Roopram Jagdeo, called ‘Lil Baby’ and ‘Rabbit’.
This retrial will see Paremdass having his conviction and jail sentence set aside.
The charge against Paremdass is that he committed the murder between December 20 and 21, 2012, at Providence, East Bank Demerara. According to reports, Paremdass and the now dead man were involved in a row over a bicycle. During this argument, Paremdass allegedly dealt Jagdeo several blows to the head with a piece of wood.
Following a trial in 2015 before High Court Judge Navindra Singh, a 12-member mixed jury convicted Paremdass of the crime after returning a unanimous guilty verdict.
Being dissatisfied with the decision of the Court, Paremdass through his lawyer, Sanjeev Datadin, appealed the conviction and sentence. Appearing for the prosecution was State Counsel Tamieka Clarke.
In one of the grounds of appeal, Datadin argued that Justice Singh failed to adequately put his client’s defence of self defence to the jury for consideration.
Hearing the appeal were Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag) Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justices of Appeal Rishi Persaud and Dawn Gregory who all agreed that Justice Singh ought to have done so. In that basis, the Court of Appeal set aside the conviction and jail sentence and ordered that Paremdass be retried for the offence.
Hence, the matter was remitted to the High Court for trial at the next sitting of the Demerara Assizes which commences on January 8, 2019 at the High Court in Georgetown.
In passing the sentence, Justice Singh had commenced at a base of 60 years from which he deducted three years for the time Paremdass spent in pretrial custody. Justice Singh had also ordered that Paremdass only becomes eligible for parole after serving 25 years.