The three men who were found guilty last month of the 2017 murder of the Soesdyke/Linden Highway vendor, Dhanpaul Dookie, called ‘Pauline’ was this morning sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime.
Fifty-year-old Chandrapaul Persaud, also called ‘Raju’ or ‘Duffy’; 61-year-old Harrilall Ramdhan, also called ‘Baba’ or ‘Roshan’; and 36-year-old Jageshwar Ghanie, also called ‘Toto’, were sentenced by Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry in the Demerara High Court.
In June, a 12-member jury that was empaneled for the murder trial, returned with three guilty verdicts. The men had denied the charge which stated that between July 24 and 27, 2017, at Uitspa Village in the Demerara River, they murdered Dookie. The 51-year-old vendor was reportedly stabbed to death during a robbery.
According to report, Dookie’s body was found around 08:00 hours with multiple stab wounds on Thursday, July 27, 2017. It is believed that he was killed three days earlier. The vendor was stabbed twice to his abdomen, once to his lower back, once to his hip, once to his forehead, and once above his right eye. It was stated that after committing the act, the trio raided the vendor’s home, carting off with cash, jewellery and other items, before escaping.
The state prosecutor asked the court to consider aggravating factors, and to send a strong message to like-minded offenders.
The court heard this morning that the trio premeditated to rob and murder Dookie after seeing him with a large stack of $5000 bills. The court heard that the men bought ‘high wine’ to imbibe while waiting on the place to get dark before they attacked Dookie.
It was stated that the men were armed with a knives and axe. After invading Dookie’s home one of the accused reportedly used the axe to lash Dookie to the back of his head after he refused to tell them where the money was hidden. They then inflicted more wounds to Dookie before escaping.
Ramdhan was reportedly committed the crime of murdering Dookie while he was on bail for attempted murder.
In her sentencing remarks, the judge stated that the aggravating factors far outweigh the mitigating factors which are of minimal effect. She considered that the men premeditated the crime, the fact that they burned Dookie’s phone as well as their bloody clothes and washed the weapons to destroy evidence.
She added that the three accused while robbing Dookie bludgeoned and stabbed him repeatedly causing him to die, and the sentencing must reflect the gravity of the crime. Notably, the judge also considered the men’s good behaviour while in prison, the fact that they were not previously convicted and that they cooperated with the police.
Justice Sewnarine-Beharry then sentenced the men to life imprisonment and noted that Ramdhan and Persaud are to serve 30 years behind bars before they are eligible for parole. The judge said too that given his age and genuine remorse, Ghanie is eligible for parole after serving 25 years.