At Berbice Assizes
JUSTIN Bailey, who had been on trial for murder at the Berbice Assizes, was found guilty of the lesser offence, by the mixed jury, last Friday afternoon.
The 12 jurors returned the unanimous verdict after deliberating for a little more than two hours but Justice Winston Patterson deferred sentencing the manslaughter convict, pending the submission of a probation report on his background on April 8.
On Wednesday, when State Prosecutor Dionne Mc Cammon made her address to the jury, she said the elements of the offence had been met, to prove that Bailey unlawfully killed Hilda Nicholson called Hilda Nedd, on October 18, 2006.
Mc Cammon said the evidence was that Lavern Albert known as ‘Lovey’, Nicholson and the accused were friends and the victim used to prepare food at Albert’s home where Bailey also lived.
The Prosecutor said testimony led was that Nicholson, prior to her demise told Albert she was not sure of the identity of her attacker but was overheard saying “Lovey, it look like Justin.”
However, following a scuffle between the victim and Bailey, she exclaimed: “Lovey, is Justin, is Justin. He got a knife. He bore me.”
In addition, the Prosecutor said, in the caution statement that was admitted by the judge, the accused is recorded as saying he was the one who stabbed Nicholson twice.
The accused had also confessed, to Assistant Superintendent of Police Terrace Paul, that the cap found at the scene, together with a knife, belonged to him, the Prosecutor said.
Government Pathologist Dr. V. Brijmohan testified that the fatal wound on the deceased was inflicted by a sharp, pointed cutting instrument and could not have been caused by a fall nor was it self-inflicted.
The knife, which had bloodstains, was found next to a bag belonging to the killer in a cottage at Rosignol Stelling Road, West Bank Berbice and tests established that the stains on the weapon were of human blood, Mc Cammon stated.
She added that Nicholson died within a year and a day of suffering the injury and was pronounced dead on arrival at Fort Wellington Hospital before Dr. Brijmohan performed the post mortem examination on October 20, 2006.
Mc Cammon submitted that the prisoner intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm and that intention need not have been formed at the time when he saw Nicholson that afternoon and she gave him food, nor from the time she entered the toilet.
Mc Cammon said one may not know the motive for the killing and speculated whether Nicholson was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Nicholson and the convict had lived together but had a disagreement on October 15, 2006 and he was expected to have gone to Linden.
However, Albert was surprised to see him on the afternoon of the fateful incident, when he returned to her home, requested and was given the meal and $100 before leaving her premises.
The Prosecutor said Bailey claimed he returned to Jarvis Street, Rosignol, to give back the food bowl but proceeded to the outhouse where the victim began to abuse him and the two armed themselves with sticks but he took the knife which fell from Nicholson and used it to defend himself.
Bailey was represented by State assigned Defence Counsel Michael Baird.
At Berbice Assizes