Alleged sexual assault victim challenging 57-year murder sentence
Convicted felon Clive Knights, who murdered an insurance executive in what he said was his bid to ward off a sexual assault seven years ago, is challenging the 57-year prison sentence handed down by Justice Navindra Singh, contending that it was not only excessive but that the Judge did not properly direct the jury on the appearance of bloodstains.
Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Yonette Cummings-Edwards and fellow
Appellate Justices Rishi Persaud and Dawn Gregory continued hearing the arguments at the Appeal Court on Monday.
Justice Singh handed down Knights’ prison sentence in 2015 for the May 14, 2012 murder of Phoenix Park, West Bank Demerara (WBD) resident Bert Whyte. The Guyana Trinidad Mutual Fire & Life Insurance Group (GTM) insurance executive died from two stab wounds to the chest, but Knights maintained he was defending himself against sexual assault that Whyte was reportedly perpetrating.
However, Attorney Dexter Todd, who is appearing for Knights at the Appeal Court, told the senior Judges that Justice Singh misdirected the jury in relation to the evidence of Assistant Police Superintendent (ASP) David who testified that he observed what appeared to be bloodstains when he visited the scene at Palm Court, where Whyte went after being stabbed at Bentinck Street, South Cummingsburg.
Todd argued that Justice Singh told the jury that ASP David saw blood as opposed
to apparent blood, and further added that the State should have provided a forensic specialist to make this determination and to prove it was human blood and/or that of the deceased man. Whyte had been a personnel manager at the Georgetown Public Hospital for 10 years before taking up a post as GTM’s assistant company secretary when he met his demise at the age of 44.