Wife jailed for a week for stabbing death of husband
Judge finds prosecution withheld key evidence
Stabroek News
November 7, 2001

Justice Winston Moore yesterday jailed Denise Soloman for one week for killing her husband after listening to a probation report and concluding that the prosecution had withheld evidence at the preliminary inquiry, which would have allowed Soloman's lawyer to raise the issue of self defence.

Soloman, who was previously charged with murder, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which was accepted by Prosecutor for the State, Paula Gilford, earlier in the trial.

Gilford had revealed last Tuesday that on August 17, 2000 the accused was heard by relatives of the deceased saying that she "will go to jail for something now." The deceased was heard saying "O God daddy, I gon dead. Denise stabbed me."

Gilford, highlighted the child's evidence-in-chief that day which stated: "My father had taken mummy's limes to buy cocaine which he smoked at the house. I told my mother when she came home, and they began to quarrel. Daddy lashed mummy with a roller and mummy took a knife and bore daddy chest."

It was stated by the court at yesterday's hearing that the child's statement mentioned the name 'Tiny', a relative of the deceased, as the person to whom his father would go to purchase the prohibited drug.

Earlier Family and Welfare Officer, Clement Brushe, in his probation report, stated that Denise Soloman, a first offender, was of a pleasant personality and lived well with others. The woman, the fifth of nine children raised by a working-class couple, had enlisted in the Guyana People's Militia was a temporary weeder attached to the Guyana Sugar Corporation and a greens vendor at the Port Mourant market.

The accused, though expressing shock, sadness and remorse at the event, placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of the deceased for their frequent quarrels, noting that they escalated after the birth of their second son, now seven years old, when he begun to smoke/use cocaine, the report said. She then found him to be very aggressive and potentially violent.

It was also revealed, that the deceased was a temporary cane harvester, who travelled occasionally to St Kitts, for employment on the sugar estates.

Last week, the judge had questioned whether any relatives of the deceased were present in court and the father responded. He was asked whether he knew his son used an illegal drug or was employed. He responded that he was not aware that his 33-year-old child consumed the prohibited narcotic, but responded in the affirmative that his son was employed at the time of the incident. This answer had prompted the order for a probation report.

Justice Moore said that what the evidence revealed was a very clear case of provocation, in which a person would not have time to work out retaliatory measures. But he noted that if the statement had been made available to the defence, the accused would not have been incarcerated for such a long time.