A boat captain, who is accused of killing his 67-year-old father-in-law, has been committed to stand trial in the High Court.

The ruling was handed down virtually by His Worship Dellon Bess in the Port Kaituma Station.

38-year-old George Van Sluytman of Port Kaituma Canal Bank was not required to plead to the indictable charge, which stated that on July 28, 2018, at Canal Bank, Port Kaituma, he murdered Dennis Welcome.

According to police prosecutor Gordon Mansfield, on the day in question at about 3:00hrs, Van Sluytman, who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, returned home to his common-law wife and threatened to kill her.

The court heard that Van Sluytman proceeded to hold on to the woman’s throat, put a spoon to her neck, and told her that he would kill her.

The prosecutor added that the woman raised an alarm, resulting in Welcome going to her aid and later taking her to his home.

Prosecutor Mansfield told the court that around 7:00hrs, Van Sluytman proceeded by boat to Welcome’s residence, where he found the now-deceased man sitting in a boat.

It is alleged that Van Sluytman drove his boat into Welcome’s boat, and as a result of the impact, the deceased fell into the water and did not surface.

An alarm was later raised, and Welcome’s body was subsequently retrieved and taken to the Port Kaituma Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

After a Preliminary Inquiry (PI), His Worship Bess ruled that a prima facie case had been made out against Van Sluytman at the close of the prosecution’s case to put him on trial by a jury before a judge.

His trial will commence at the next practicable sitting of the Demerara assizes.


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