Woman gets 12 years for killing push-cart vendor
Sentenced: Vanessa Baird at the Georgetown High Court on Tuesday.
Sentenced: Vanessa Baird at the Georgetown High Court on Tuesday.

VANESSA Baird, a mother of one was on Tuesday sentenced to 12-and-a-half years for the fatal stabbing of push-cart operator Percival Williams in 2013 over $1,000. She appeared in the Georgetown High Court before Justice Navindra Singh after pleading guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.

Time served will be deducted from the sentence which was handed down by Justice Singh after considering her early plea and other mitigating submissions made by defence attorney Mark Conway.

The judge told Baird to utilise her time in jail and to participate in anger-management classes in an effort to achieve better self-control. In his plea of mitigation, Conway told the court that at the time of the incident Baird had a three-year-old son and being a single parent she had some financial difficulties providing for her child.

He related that even though the money was insignificant, it was supposed to finance her son’s meals and during her time in prison she had time to regain her self-control and analyse her mental state.

Conway added that she had no trouble with the law before the incident and she was part of the drama and sewing classes in jail and also attended church services.

The defence attorney told the court that Baird would like to return home to take care of her son and she has since expressed remorse and asked for forgiveness.

In response, State prosecutor Abigail Gibbs said that she understands the difficulties experienced by the accused, but asked the court to consider the mourning of the family of the deceased whose loved one was killed for $1,000.

Gibbs told the court that it was alleged that on December 21, 2013 at the Parika Stelling, the accused murdered Percival Williams over $1,000.

She stated that on the day in question the accused met the deceased, 43, of Hague, West Coast Demerara, whom she gave $1,000 to buy a Chinese food for her.

Later that day she held onto him and demanded that he hand over the money to her. After he failed to do so there was an exchange of words.

The accused then held the deceased by his jersey and there was a scuffle, during which she dealt him a stab to the lower chest with a knife.

He fell to the ground and was taken to the West Demerara Regional Hospital where he succumbed to the injury.

The cause of death was given as perforation of the lung and heart due to a stab wound.


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