51 murder trials listed as June session of Berbice Criminal Assizes opens

A Police band during the parade on Tuesday

The June sessions of the Berbice Criminal Assizes opened on Tuesday with some 62 cases for various offenses slated to be heard.
Assistant Superintendent of Prisons, Patrick Crawford, while presenting the Goal delivery revealed that 51 inmates are awaiting murder trials, five for attempted murder, and six are awaiting trial for matters related to sexual activities against children.
Thirty-four of the prisoners awaiting trial are between the ages of 21 and 30 years old.
Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall is expected to preside over the Criminal session, which will run until October. Meanwhile, on Tuesday the February session of the Berbice Criminal Assizes formally closed.
During that session with 104 cases listed, State prosecutor Attorney-at-law Cicelia Corbin presented eleven matters before Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry who sat from May.
Six were for sexually related offenses, three for attempted murder with alternative counts of unlawful wounding, felonious wounding, and wounding with intent. One matter was also presented to the Judge for manslaughter and another for abduction.
The session also saw a case being put before the judge for causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
In four matters presented to the court by the prosecution, the accused were acquitted by jury verdicts of not guilty.
In two separate matters, the accused were found guilty by the jury and are currently awaiting sentencing while in two other matters, the accused pleaded guilty. Their sentences have been deferred.
Meanwhile, in three other matters presented during the February session, the trial judge directed the juries to return formal verdicts of not guilty; in two of these, the complainants testified they did not wish to proceed with their evidence, while the trial Judge upheld a no-case submission in the other.
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) entered nolle prosequi [a formal notice of abandonment by a plaintiff or prosecutor indicating that they will proceed no further in an action or suit] in nine matters; in one case the accused died while the complainants in the others submitted written states that they did not wish to proceed with their matters.