Fifty-year-old Foster Gravesande, who was found guilty of murder and slapped with a 56-year prison term, has moved to the Court of Appeal, challenging his conviction and sentence.

On December 10, 2020, Gravesande was found guilty by a 12-member jury for the April 9, 2017, murder of 49-year-old Courtney Porter in his trial for the capital offence before Justice Navindra Singh in the High Court.

Reports are that Porter, a father of three, was reportedly beaten in the head with a piece of wood by Gravesande, who had accused him of pulling his wife’s clothes.

Following the incident, Porter was hospitalised, and his attacker was charged with attempt to commit murder and released on bail. Porter succumbed two weeks after the beating. Gravesande subsequently fled the area and was captured in another policing division.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, Gravesande, through Dexter Todd and Associates, moved to the Appeal Court, arguing that the verdict of the jury was unreasonable and cannot be supported having regard to the evidence.

Gravesande believes that the trial judge failed to sufficiently address the many deficiencies in the prosecution’s case and, in particular, the many contradicting evidence of the eye-witnesses.

Among other things, the murder convict said that his sentence was manifestly excessive and severe in all the circumstances of the case. The Court of Appeal is yet to fix a date for hearing this case.

Just before his sentencing, State Prosecutor Teriq Mohammed had noted that the act was senseless, given that the convicted murderer and the deceased were friends.

In fact, he cited the probation report, in which community members revealed that Gravesande never had a good attitude.

Justice Singh agreed with Prosecutor Mohammed that the act was senseless. In fact, he said that Gravesande showed no remorse.

As such, he started his sentence at a base of 60 years but deducted four years for the time the convict spent on remand. The judge ordered that Gravesande only becomes eligible for parole after serving 28 years in jail.


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