The Court of Appeal this afternoon overturned a death sentence imposed on Herman Ally, who was found guilty in 2012 for the murder of his fellow Rose Hall Town, Corentyne, Berbice resident Roydel Sandy which occurred between October 5 and 6, 2006.
Following arguments by Ally’s lawyer, Nigel Hughes, and State prosecutors, the Court of Appeal overturned the man’s murder conviction and substituted it with manslaughter.
The Court then imposed a sentence of 18 years for manslaughter and ordered that the time Ally spent in jail from the time of his arrest in 2006, must be deducted from the sentence. Hughes explained that his client has been in custody for 160 months, and should be released from prison in the next six months. Ally, also known as ‘Shark Oil,’ was handed the death sentence by Chief Justice Roxane George following a trial at the High Court in Berbice.
During Ally’s trial in 2012, State Prosecutors had argued that Ally murdered Sandy following a misunderstanding. It was stated that on October 5, 2006, at around 16:00 hrs, Sandy was found in the vicinity of Ally’s yard with a wound. He was picked up and taken to his mother’s home before being rushed to the New Amsterdam Hospital, where he died the next day. Ally was arrested that same day and was later charged with murder.
Ally had always claimed he acted in self-defence, saying that after he had an altercation with a woman, Sandy attacked him with a knife.
Ally, who is said to be in his 70s, later challenged his conviction and sentence at the Court of Appeal. Among other things, he argued that Justice George admitted a caution statement into evidence which should have been excluded, and failed to put his defence to the jury.
Further, he contended that Justice George failed to permit him to mitigate his defence. On behalf of Ally, Hughes argued that the trial misdirected the jury on the law of self-defence and murder. The appeal was heard by Chancellor of the Judiciary Yonette Cummings-Edwards, Justice of Appeal Dawn Gregory, and High Court judge Brassington Reynolds.