Teen pleads not guilty to murdering Mahaicony businesswoman
A 19-year-old man on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to the October 2016 murder of Novar, Mahaicony, East Bank Demerara businesswoman, Bibi Shairoon Ali, who was found dead in her home. At the time of the alleged crime, he was only 15.
The teen, who is being represented by Attorney-at-Law Bernard DaSilva, was arraigned before Justice Navindra Singh. He denied the charge which alleged that he murdered the 56-year-old businesswoman between October 15 and October 17, 2016, at Lot 4 Novar, Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara.
His trial will commence on Tuesday morning at the High Court in Demerara with State Prosecutor Tuanna Hardy calling her first witness. According to media reports, the elderly woman was discovered lying face down in her home by her nephew, who went to check on her after she was not seen for some time.
Reports are that Ali, a mother of three, was found lying in a pool of blood in the bedroom of her two-storey home. It was also reported that her hands and feet were bound and her head was bashed in. A hammer was found at the crime scene and a post-mortem report revealed that she had been sexually assaulted.
It was reported that Ali’s neck was broken and there were lacerations about her body. The woman’s house was also ransacked, leading Police to suspect she might have been robbed and then killed. Ali had operated a business in the area, supplying farmers with pesticides and weedicides.
She also sold phone cards and other items. Several of these items were missing. Another man, 28-year-old Davanand Rampersaud, was also charged with Ali’s murder. However, last year Rampersaud appeared before the High Court and pleaded not guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.
As a consequence, he was sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum of 25 years. In sentencing him, Justice Sandil Kissoon condemned the killing, stating that given the prevalence of the offence, the court had to impose a sentence that would serve as a deterrent.
The teen and Rampersaud hailed from the same community as Ali.