On Friday, Bibi Goopaul, along with her former lover, Jarvis Small, who was sentenced to 102- and 96-years’ imprisonment respectively for the 2010 murder of her 16-year-old daughter Neesa Gopaul, now wants their sentences quashed.
Hearing the case was Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, and Justices of Appeal Dawn Gregory and Rishi Persaud. Small’s lawyers contended that the Gopaul and Small should have been tried separately. Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes submitted that a jury would have been prejudicial to Small given the evidence led by the Prosecution against Bibi Gopaul.
Hughes, the only evidence led against his client was a pair of dumbbells that were found at the crime scene. With regards to the dumbbells found with the body of Neesa, Hughes argued that there is no nexus between the items, his client, and the murder of Neesa.
Meanwhile, Gopaul’s lawyer, Arud Gosai contended that the evidence of the prosecution’s main witness, Simone De Nobrega was highly prejudicial to his client and resulted in a miscarriage of justice. De Nobrega was a former cellmate of Bibi Gopaul.
She had testified that Bibi Gopaul confided in her that it was Small who had killed her daughter by bashing her head in with a piece of wood. Referencing a case from the Privy Council, Mr. Gosai argued that Justice Singh failed to warn the jury how to treat the evidence given by De Nobrega.
The decomposed and headless remains of Neesa Gopaul, a former student of Queen’s College, was discovered in a suitcase at a creek along the Soesdyke/Linden Highway on October 02, 2020, days after she was reported missing from her Leonora, West Coast Demerara home.
There were dumbbells attached to the suitcase to submerge her body. A pathologist gave the teenager’s cause of death as blunt trauma to the head. Following a jury trial before Justice Navindra Singh at the High Court in Demerara, Bibi Gopaul and Small were found guilty of the murder. Small is being represented by Attorneys-at-Law Nigel Hughes, Ronald Daniels, and Sophia Findlay, while Attorney-at-Law Arud Gosai is appearing for Bibi Gopaul.