Following his conviction and 62 years’ sentence for the 2012 killing of two brothers, Abdul Budhoo is now asking the Court of Appeal to set aside his conviction on the basis that the trial Judge made several errors in law.
In 2017, Budhoo was indicted on two counts of murder with the deaths of Shaheed Bacchus and his brother Imran Bacchus which occurred on September 30, 2012, at Mackenzie, Linden. After deliberations by a 12-person jury, Budhoo was found guilty for the murder of Shaheed Bacchus and was sentenced to 62 years’ imprisonment.
Concerning the death of Imran Bacchus, his cousin; Budhoo was found guilty on the lesser offense of manslaughter and was sentenced to 32 years’ imprisonment. Trial Judge Navindra Singh ordered that the two sentences are to be served concurrently.
According to the facts of the case, on the day in question, Budhoo and his cousin, Shaheed were involved in an argument over monies. Shaheed’s brother, Imran intervened. Both brothers were stabbed by Budhoo during the altercation. During a virtual hearing of the appeal on Monday, November 02, 2020, Budhoo’s lawyer, Mark Conway complained of the trial judge’s direction concerning the finding of provocation about the killing of Shaheed.
Conway argues that if the trial judge had properly directed the jury there is a possibility that they may have returned a manslaughter verdict concerning the killing of Shaheed. Also, the lawyer argues that the sentence of 32 years imposed for the manslaughter conviction is not in keeping with established principles of sentencing which renders it excessive.
Having regards to the foregoing, the lawyer has asked the Court of Appeal to substitute Budhoo’s murder conviction with manslaughter. He is also asking the court to reduce the sentence imposed on the manslaughter conviction as it is manifestly excessive and not in conformity with established sentencing guidelines. Hearing this matter were Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, and Justices of Appeal Dawn Gregory and Rishi Persaud.