January 23, 2018

Woman jailed for 12 years for murdering push cart vendor over G$1000

Twenty-seven-year-old Vanessa Baird was handed a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence on Tuesday after she admitted to killing 43-year-old push cart vendor Percival Williams, on December 21, 2013 over G$1000 at the Parika Stelling, East Bank Essequibo.
Represented by Defence Counsel, Mark Conway, the mother of one, in tears, asked the court to be lenient with her so that she can return to care for her seven-year-old child.
According to the State’s case which was presented by Prosecutors Abigail Gibbs, Natasha Backer and Tiffini Lyken, Williams was given G$1000 by his would-be killer to purchase Chinese food for her and her son. At some point however, she asked Williams, a former Hague, West Coast Demerara resident for the money that she gave him and the two exchanged expletives after he did not comply.
Baird held onto Williams’ jersey and a scuffle ensued and she then stabbed him in the lower chest area. The prosecution further relayed that the accused in her caution statement admitted that she had taken the knife from another person and committed the act.
Williams immediately fell to the ground and was pronounced dead at the Leonora Cottage Hospital. His post-mortem examination showed that he died from perforation of the lung and heart due to stabbing. Reports back then were that Williams had converted the money to his own use.
In making pleas of mitigation, Baird’s attorney observed that at the time of the incident, the woman was encountering financial difficulties being a single parent. Conway highlighted that his client has reflected on her actions and has improved her ability to have self-control. The court also heard that the woman now attends church services, sewing and drama classes whilst being incarcerated.
Presiding Judge Navindra Singh, noted that it did not make sense to kill Baird in the manner which he lost his life. He encouraged her to seek out anger management classes as she continues the rehabilitation process. Baird’s time spent on remand awaiting trial will be deducted from her overall sentence.