A Rose Hall Town, Berbice man was on Monday jailed for 10 years for hacking to death his reputed wife.Desmond Gordon, also called “Tallman”, 52, of Lot 196 Mangrove Street, Reef Section, Rose Hall Town, Corentyne received the sentence from Justice Brassington Reynolds after he pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.The cane harvester was charged with killing his wife Bhagmattie Angad, called “Kamini,” following a dispute during a drinking spree on May 16, 2016 at their Rose Hall Town home.The couple, who had been together for about eight years, reportedly shared a very abusive relationship. They were imbibing during the day when an argument subsequently erupted.Desmond Gordon and his dead wife, Bhagmattie Angad, in happier timesLoud screams were heard coming from the premises following which the 50-year-old woman was seen running from the house with Gordon in hot pursuit. He had in his hand a cutlass with which he reportedly inflicted several incise wounds about her body. The accused was subsequently seen with blood about his body. The Police were contacted and arrived on the scene and arrested him. Gordon was represented by Attorney at Law Sasha Roberts of the Legal Aid Clinic, while the state’s case was presented by State Prosecutor Tuanna Hardy.Following the guilty plea, the court ordered a probation report on Gordon.Probation and Welfare Officer Maisie Sheppard, in her report, told the court that prior to the death of his wife, the early years of their relationship were filled with joy and laughter, but things changed and she became an addictive substance abuser (cocaine and marijuana).She told the court that when Gordon would rebuke his wife for her misconduct, it frequently resulted in arguments. Further, it was reported by some residents of Reef Section, Rose Hall Town, Corentyne that while the accused was respectful and loved by many for his general disposition within the community he resided, he and the victim (now deceased) were recognised by residents for their periodic consumption tendencies. According to the probation officer, residents noted that both the accused and his wife would consume alcoholic beverages and subsequently becoming verbally and physically abusive towards each other.Justice Reynolds, in handing down sentence, said the penalty is between life imprisonment and 18 years.He said that because Gordon did not waste the court’s time, he would give him the smallest sentence. Five years were deducted for the plea, and another two years for the time already spent in prison. The trial Judge deducted a further year for the killer’s good behaviour in jail based on the probation report, leaving him with ten years to spend in jail.
The eleven persons who were killed during the Lusignan massacre 11 years ago were on Saturday remembered as the Indian Action Committee coordinated the annual commemoration activity within the community.In the very street where the horrific night unfolded, loved ones along with members of the community, religious leaders and representatives of both the Government and the Opposition shared their sincerest solicitudeBehind a memorial arch which serves as a reminder, former Chairman of the Ethnic Relations Commission and People’s Progressive Party Member of Parliament, Juan Edghill explained that he is still aggrieved upon reminiscing on the lives that were lost.He recalled that Guyanese from all walks of life would have rendered their solidarity and support towards the families of the victims. He also advocated for citizens to preserve that “oneness” among their fellow people as was seen during that period.“I would like to remind all of Guyana that out of evil sometimes cometh good. The good of that coming together at that time must not be list but never again must our coming together be because of such a terrible act,” he posited.Sentiments were also shared by former Education Minister, Priya Manickchand who provided a detailed description of the community hours after the unfortunate event when she would have visited.She noted that while counselling was provided for relatives of the victims, some are yet to heal emotionally from their anguishes.“What happened in Lusignan shook this entire country…In the weeks that followed, there was also that looking after for each other as God’s children. It was not the families only of the persons who had lost loved ones, it was the entire community,” Manickchand expressed.Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan was also invited to present his remarks as he stated, “Let us teach and inspire our children to embrace and respect each other. Let us, as all the holy books admonishes, that we seek to promote reconciliation and healing of past wounds. To the bereaved families, we do understand that the pain of losing your loved ones in such a tragic manner will always be with you.”The Ethnic Relation Commission was represented by Commissioner Rajkumarie Singh who recognised the dawning of yet another anniversary which distances the incident from the present.However, her advice to the affected families was, “You would have come a far way and many would have given you the support to remain sane and calm. As we gather to pray and express love and kind thoughts, it would certainly help those souls wherever they are.”At the culmination of the solemn service, prayers and recitations echoed from the various holy books as religious leaders offered citations for the departed victims.The massacre unfolded in the wee hours of that January 26, 2008, morning when five children and six adults lost their lives as gunmen invaded their street and carried out the heartless attack in less than one hour. Arming themselves with weapons and high-profile guns, they murdered 48-year-old Clarence Thomas, 12-year-old Vanessa Thomas, 11-year-old Ron Thomas, 32-year-old Mohandan Goordat, 10-year-old Seegopaul Harilall, Seegobin Harilall, 52-year-old Dhanwajie Ramsingh, 56-year-old Seecharran Rooplall, 11-year-old Raywattie Ramsingh, 22-year-old Shazam Mohammed and 52-year-old Shaleem Baksh.Those who were injured included 19-year-old Howard Thomas, 48-year-old Nadir Mohamed, and five-year-old Roberto Thomas.Less than two weeks after the massacre, 10 of the victims’ bodies converged at the Lusignan tarmac where they were laid to rest the same day. Mohammed’s family had completed his rites prior due to religious commitments.Days after, another massacre was executed in Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) which saw the killing of several persons.The motive of the vicious attack is still unclear.