Rajen Dindial, who was found guilty, last month for manslaughter, has moved to the Court of Appeal where he is challenging his conviction and subsequent 15 years’ jail sentence. Dindial, also called ‘Eric’, was initially charged with the September 03, 2017, murder of Alston Henry, which occurred at Grove Squatting Area, East Bank Demerara. The jury, however, found him unanimously guilty on the lesser offence of manslaughter.

The 15 years’ sentence was imposed by Justice Jo-Ann Barlow, who ordered that the prison authorities are to deduct two years, two months and 13 days which reflects the time Dindial spent in pre-trial custody. The Judge ordered too, that one year also be deducted from the sentence for Dindial having no previous brushes with the law.

According to reports, Dindial and Henry were at a wedding celebration when an argument ensued after Henry pushed down a portable toilet and refused to pick it up. Based on reports, Dindial became annoyed, armed himself with a paddle and dealt the victim several lashes about his body. Henry fell unconscious and was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where he succumbed.

In court documents seen by this publication, Dindial, through his lawyer Nigel Hughes has proffered nine grounds of appeal to the Court of Appeal. He argues that the trial judge erred in law and in fact when she failed to direct the jury to completely disregard the contents of the confession statement after it had been read to the jurors and subsequently withdrew it from them.

“The trial judge erred in law when she failed to withdraw the case from the jury after reversing her decision to permit the caution statements into evidence and the only remaining implicating evidence was manifestly unreliable,” Dindial argues.

The convict also argues that the trial judge failed to address and or adequately address the jury on several contradictory statements by the sole eyewitness and the manifest’s unreliability of the testimony of the sole eyewitness. Among other things, the convict also argues that the trial judge erred in law in allowing the case to be put to the jury due to the manifestly unreliable evidence of the sole eyewitness.

Dindial is also contending that his prison sentence is manifestly excessive. State Prosecutors Shawnette Austin and Sarah Martin presented this case at the High Court in Demerara.


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