An emotional scenes at the Demerara High Court on Wednesday morning, James Hunte who caused the death of his two-month-old son in a drunken brawl back in 2012 was sentenced to eight years in prison for manslaughter.
Standing before Justice Navindra Singh and a packed courtroom, Hunte also called “Dougla” pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charge.
The State contended that on March 20, 2012 at Le Ressouvenir, East Coast
Demerara, he killed his son Andy Hunte.
When allowed to speak, the accused, with great emotion, told the court that he was sorry for what he had done and even noted that no relatives have visited him since he was incarcerated.
Handing down the eight-year sentence, Justice Singh expressed that he believed the accused regretted what had happened and noted that Hunte had already spent almost five years on remand awaiting trial.
“It is unfortunate that you lost your temper, but I don’t think you’re a hardened criminal…I want to give you a chance to make a contribution to society,” remarked the Judge.
Justice Singh reminded the court that Hunte had confessed to Police just one day after the crime was committed. He told the convict to use his time behind bars to learn a skill and further encouraged him to continue his reported good behaviour.
Speaking outside the court moments after his sentencing, Hunte reacted calmly to his sentence, noting that it was “not bad”.
During a drunken rum shop brawl on March 20, 2012 with his son’s mother, Hunte struck the child to the head with a belt buckle. The toddler was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital and died hours later.
Reports at that time had stated that the child’s parents were homeless and reportedly alcoholics. The State’s case was presented by Prosecutors Siand Dhurjon and Tuanna Hardy while Defence Attorney George Thomas represented the accused.