Despite getting a reduced term for time spent on remand, a St. Philip man will be behind bars for the next 20 years after being convicted for his role in the “senseless and bizarre” killing of a teenager four years ago.
Guyanese Teerath Persaud, 45, formerly a resident of Blades Hill, was sentenced on Tuesday by High Court Judge Maureen Crane-Scott for the November 8, 2008 death of 16 year-old Anna Druzhinina, daughter of his former employers John and Larissa Jackson.
Persaud had pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the crime which took place at the Jackson’s home at Palmer Plantation, St. Philip.
The evidence of the case revealed that Druzhinina died from strangulation after being placed to stand on cans with wire around her neck.
While Persaud’s attorney Ajamu Boardi told the court his client should be sentenced to 10 years, the Director of Public Prosecutions had said the starting point should be 25 years. In her prepared sentencing remarks, Crane-Scott said:
“Having considered the gravity of the offence and established the appropriate starting point for your sentence, the court was also mindful of the general judicial guidelines … which require, inter alia, that the gravity of the punishment must be commensurate with the gravity of the offence.
“The court next turned to section 36 of the Penal System Reform Act and considered the issue of proportionality with a view to determining what length of sentence would be appropriate to do justice in this case.
“Focusing next on you as the offender, the court then took into account the factors which, in the view of the court, have reduced the seriousness of the offence and reflect a level of personal mitigation of you as the offender. These were, firstly, … your guilty plea and in this regard, a discount of four years was allowed,” she added.
The judge also said “an appropriate discount was also allowed to take account of … the fact that you have no known offences and your hitherto clean record; the fact that you cooperated with the police investigations; and the remorse which you have since the pre-sentence report expressed for your actions”.
Crane-Scott said in keeping with a Caribbean Court of Justice ruling, Persaud would be “given full credit for the 1,486 days, that is four years and 26 days you have spent on remand to date awaiting your trial and the final disposition of this matter”.
“Teerath Persaud, you are hereby sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 25 years for this offence to commence with immediate effect … there will be deducted, the full period … you have to date spent on remand since November 17, 2008 awaiting final resolution of the matter. In the result, you will be required to serve the additional 20 years and 339 days in custody for this offence,” the judge ordered. (SC)
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