Durn Hunt who pleaded guilty to the 2018 murder of his girlfriend Itashia Frank, a mother of two, was today sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for the crime.
Hunt, called “Rastaman” of Lot 108 Crane Street, Queenstown, Corriverton, Berbice, was sentenced by Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall at the Berbice High Court.
In May last, when Hunt was arraigned for the murder indictment, he pleaded guilty to the charge which stated that on October 15, 2018, he murdered his girlfriend, Frank.
During the sentencing on Wednesday, a probation report in favour of Hunt was read to the court. A probation officer related that the villagers are scared of Hunt, as he would have a mental breakdown and operate in a dangerous manner and threaten them. In fact, it was stated that they felt safer now that he is behind bars. Notably, it was revealed that Hunt was a user of illicit drugs like marijuana. The court heard that since being incarcerated, Hunt has been taking medication for his mental illness.
State Prosecutor, attorney-at-law Muntaz Ali in his remarks to the court requested that the sentence reflect the punishment equivalent for the crime, adding that it should send a message that violence against women should not be tolerated.
“Violence by intimate partners is crimes that cannot be condoned and are like a plague to society,” Justice Morris-Ramlall said in her sentencing remarks. The judge went on to describe Hunt’s actions as “cruel” adding that he did not value his partner’s life.
Justice Morris-Ramlall sentenced Hunt to 20 years’ imprisonment and ordered that the time he spent on remand be deducted from his sentence.
Prosecutor Ali while presenting the state’s case said that on the day in question, around 08:30 hours at Crane Street, Queenstown, Corriverton, an argument ensued between Frank and Hunt.
It was stated that during the argument at the couple’s home, the woman attempted to arm herself with a knife but Hunt grabbed it instead.
The state’s case is that the woman and Hunt continued to argue which resulted with them on the street. While there, Hunt reportedly grabbed Frank and took her to a culvert.
The woman attempted to escape but she fell into. Hunt jumped after the woman and used the knife which he had grabbed earlier and stabbed her to the neck. As Frank attempted to fight off Hunt, the accused took her head and pushed it into the drain until she became motionless.
The court had heard that while several persons witnessed the incident and were shouting at the accused, no one intervened.
Moreover, a post-mortem examination revealed that Frank died from asphyxiation due to drowning compounded by stab wounds to the neck.