Ramsarran sentenced to ten years for manslaughter
Stabroek News
February 28, 2002

Justice Yonette Cummings yesterday sentenced Ramsarran called `Baltoon' to 10 years imprisonment, after a jury on Monday had found him guilty of manslaughter. Ramsarran had initially been charged with the murder of his then reputed wife, Muntie Barry known as `Data' and had pleaded not guilty.

Prior to sentencing, defence counsel Mohabir Nandalall related that previously his client's record had been unblemished and further, that testimony provided to the court had indicated that Ramsarran was possessed of a peaceful personality.

Nandalall said that the 52-year-old (who has fathered 5 children and is the grandfather of 16) had been under the influence of alcohol and that his faculties had apparently been impaired. Further, that evidence led had revealed that there had been extenuating circumstances as Ramsarran had been living with the deceased, his son, daughter-in-law and one Constable Sookai. The lawyer said that Sookai and his client's daughter-in-law had been involved in an adulterous relationship and Ramsarran had been forced to remain silent on the said issue which had undoubtedly been a very distressing one.

Nandalall also said that his client was currently being treated at the Georgetown Prison for hypertension and noted that he had been incarcerated for nearly four years. Reminding the court that punishment was meant to rehabilitate, Nandalall expressed doubt that his client could be reformed at his age. He added that Ramsarran had not been formally educated.

Responding, State Counsel Candace Raphael (appearing in association with Yohhannseh Cave) said that the jury had spoken and a life had been lost. Voicing the state's confidence that "...the scales of justice would be evenly weighed," Raphael emphasised the need for the circumstances under which the crime had been committed to be taken into consideration.

Meanwhile, Cummings in handing down judgement noted that even as compassion was being sought, cognisance should be taken of the fact that the court had a duty to ensure that justice was served.

The prosecution had contended that Barry had died on May 28, 1999 as a result of injuries inflicted by Ramsarran on May 12, 1999 when he beat her with a stick at the couple's 94 Logwood, Enmore, East Coast Demerara residence. However, the defence had argued that Barry had been killed after being involved in a fight with one of the state's witnesses with whom she had frequently quarrelled.