Had Zaila Sugrim, the woman who was recently shot in the face before being burnt and buried in a shallow grave, provided evidence against her reputed husband when he made the threat to end her life last year, perhaps, she could have been alive today.

The Guyana Standard understands that in her report to the police in December last, she alleged that her estranged husband not only threatened to kill her, but even divulged that he would bury her body in a shallow grave. But when the matter was called before the court, the woman refused to give evidence against the suspect, Ryan Sugrim, which resulted in the case being thrown out by the magistrate.

“People are saying that the police failed this woman but that is not the case. We have always acted when she made her reports and in Court, she would usually refuse to give evidence against her husband,” a police woman said.

Expounding further on the matter, the rank explained that in December 2018, the mother of five made a report that her husband assaulted her. “Her face was swollen and her eyes were black and blue. She said the man tried to choke her and threatened to bury her in a shallow grave.” Zaila Sugrim even told media operatives that, “He (suspect) said ‘I will kill you and leave you in a shallow grave’. All I remember after then is putting up my one finger pleading for at least one second to breathe. He released me and I fell to the ground.”

The police took the report and on February, 28 last, the case was called at the Wales Magistrate Court, West bank Demerara, but the 37-year-old woman refused to give evidence against the suspect.

“The police are not at fault when someone refuses to give evidence against their husband and there is nothing the police can do at that point.”

The Guyana Standard has been informed that while the couple was separated, they had a “visiting relationship. She would go and spend time with him at his home and then go home back,” a police source said.

On Tuesday night, the suspect told investigators that he shot Zaila Sugrim, the mother of his five children, in her face because “she always upsets [him].” Sugrim confessed hours after police ranks dug the woman’s burnt remains from a shallow grave, a stone’s throw away from the gas station owned by his parents at Crane on the West Coast Demerara.

A file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecution, Shalimar Ali-Hack for advice. The suspect is expected to be charged soon.


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