Chopping to death of Mahaica farmer
– no chance of parole until 2041
By Ahreefa Bacchus
Dhupaul Singh, called “Tailor Man”, of Helena Number Two, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, who was on trial before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow and a mixed 12-member jury for murdering a Mahaica farmer, was on Monday sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole until 2041.
The trial commenced last Wednesday and both the prosecution and defence closed their cases on Friday. On Monday, after almost two hours of deliberation, the jury delivered a unanimous verdict of guilty. After the verdict was delivered, the Judge handed down the life sentence, telling the defendant that he had no chance of parole until he had served 25 years in prison.
The charge had alleged that on September 2, 2014, at Helena Number Two, the defendant murdered Balkissoon, also known as “Balkay”. The accused was represented by Attorney Madan Kissoon, while the State was represented by Attorneys Siand Dhurjon and Shawnette Austin.
During the Preliminary Inquiry at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court, it was revealed that Singh, a known drug addict, reportedly confessed to chopping the 52-year-old farmer of Lot 107 Helena Number Two on his neck. The man succumbed to his injuries shortly after the incident. Investigators thought that it was premeditated murder, since earlier in the day, the farmer warned the suspect to leave his premises. Singh reportedly left but staked out the man’s farm.
Balkissoon later reportedly left for lunch and it was while he was on his way back to the farm, he was attacked and killed. Moments before the chopping incident, the suspect was also chased from another farm. On Thursday, two Police witnesses gave their testimonies at the High Court, and the key witness testified to seeing the entire incident. Satesh Ramdhani, a friend of the victim’s son, related that on the day of the incident, he was on the farm where the chopping incident took place. He gave a detailed account of what transpired. Additionally, the dead man’s sons, Ravi and Hemchand Balkissoon, gave testimony along with three Police Witnesses.
On Friday, the defence presented and closed their case. The defendant, in his statement to the court claimed self-defence, saying “He fire a chop on me and I fire one back on he”. Defence Attorney Kissoon, in his closing address to the jury, pointed out several inconsistencies in witnesses’ testimonies. He suggested that the dead man’s sons and the eyewitness corroborated their stories so as to exact revenge on the defendant. He also stated that his client acted in self-defence after he was attacked by Balkissoon. However, Prosecutor Dhurjon refuted this, saying that the Defence Counsel was pointing out these alleged inconsistencies to distract the jury from the heart of the matter, that is, Singh brutally murdered Balkissoon. He highlighted the defendant’s statement where he said he and Balkissoon never had any disputes or altercations, but on that day he was acting in self-defence after the now dead man attacked him.