12 of 341 cases completed during October session of Demerara Criminal Assizes

…364 cases listed to be heard at upcoming session

The October session of the Demerara Criminal Assizes commenced on October 5 at the High Court in Demerara, and according to a statement from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), only 12 of 341 cases were completed.

The High Court in Demerara

The session was presided over by Justices Brassington Reynolds and Jo-Ann Barlow. During the Assizes, the State disposed of 12 matters, five of which were presented in the High Court. The other seven matters were nolle prosequi.
There were two not guilty verdicts by jury, two formal verdicts of not guilty, and one guilty plea. Senior State Counsel Lisa Cave and State Counsel Latiffa Elliot completed the two murder matters before Justice Barlow.
In one case, the trial judge upheld a no-case submission and directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty, while in the other, the accused was acquitted after the jury delivered a unanimous jury verdict of not guilty.
State Counsels Sarah Martin and Nafeeza Baig prosecuted one of the sexual offences’ cases. The accused in this matter pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. Senior State Counsel Seeta Bishundial, together with State Counsels Latiffa Elliot and Muntaz Ali, completed the remaining two matters in the Sexual Offences Court before Justice Reynolds. The accused persons in those cases were acquitted. In one case, the jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty. In the other, the trial judge upheld a no-case submission and directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty.
The seven matters nolle prosequi by the DPP were for sexual offences, in which the complainants, in each case, submitted written statements indicating that they did not wish to proceed with their matters.
Moreover, the January 2022 session of the Demerara Criminal Assizes would be open on Tuesday, January 11, 2022. There are 364 cases listed to be heard. Justices Reynolds, Priya Sewnarine-Beharry and Simone Morris-Ramlall have been rostered to sit during this session.