35-year-old Ignatius France, who told the court he was under the influence of alcohol when he fatally chopped his friend Mark Ashby to the neck, was this afternoon sentenced to 12 years in jail for the crime.

France and his lawyer Maxwell McKay appeared before Justice Navindra Singh at the Georgetown High Court. The man, who was initially indicted for murder, opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.

France thereby admitted that on May 11, 2012 at Canal Bank, Port Kaituma, he unlawfully killed Ashby. According to information, France and his brother, who were both under the influence, were involved in a fight when Ashby intervened and told them to stop.

A scuffle ensued between France and Ashby, during which time France left the scene and returned with a cutlass which he used to chop the now dead man to his neck.

France pleaded with the court for mercy and vowed to be a better man whenever he is released back into society. In turn, Justice Singh advised him to stay away from alcohol which, according to the facts of the case, played a role in the fight between the men.

State Prosecutor Teriq Mohamed asked that the sentence reflects the nature and gravity of the offence and Justice Singh ordered the prison authorities to deduct the time France spent in pre-trial custody from the sentence.


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