GUYANA: Fight erupts between accused as three remanded for Henry boys murder

Murdered: Isaiah and Joel Henry

 A fight yesterday erupted in the chute of the Georgetown Magistrates Court, between the three suspects who were remanded to prison for the gruesome murder of the Henry boys.

The men charged are; Akash Singh, 20, called “Monkey,” a fisherman of Zeelugt Squatting Area, East Bank Essequibo; his step-brother, Vinod Gopaul, 30, called “Magga,” of Yakusari, Black Bush Polder, Corentyne, Berbice and Anil Sancharra, 34, called “Dan pole” and “Rasta,” a labourer of D’ Edward Village, West Coast Berbice.     

Remanded, Akash Singh.

Remanded, Vinod Gopaul..

Remanded, Anil Sancharra (center).

 

 

 

 

 

Singh, Sancharra and Gopaul were without legal representation when they appeared before Magistrate Peter Hugh. Sancharra and Gopaul were slapped with two joint charges and Singh was charged separately with two counts of murder. They were not required to plead to the charges, which alleged that between September 5, 2020 and September 6, 2020, at Cotton Tree Backdam, West Coast Berbice, they murdered Isaiah and Joel Henry.

After the charges were read to the defendants, Magistrate Hugh remanded them to prison and the matter was adjourned to February 2, 2021, and transferred to the Blairmont Magistrate’s Court, Berbice.

The trio was brought to court around 08:45 hrs. As the police escorted them into the court compound, Sancharra whose clothes were torn said, “Me nah do nothing, me innocent. Y’all could go D’Edward and find out about me…I swear to God is marijuana them man bring me for.”

Gopaul’s clothes were also torn and he too told the reporters that he didn’t do anything. Meanwhile, Singh walked into the compound without saying anything. Moments after, the police, escorted Sancharra and Gopaul out of the court compound and placed them in a car.

Both men again used the opportunity to declare their innocence. “So much marijuana they catch me with, now I get slap with murder charge,” Sancharra shouted while Gopaul said, “Not me, I innocent, me brother (Singh) call me name.”

A reporter then asked Gopaul his name and he responded, “Vinod Gopaul, I never cross Berbice Bridge. Honestly to God, go find out about me at Black Bush…me brother call me name wrongfully because he know my name.”

A source told Kaieteur News that Sancharra and Gopaul were taken back to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters, Eve Leary, Georgetown. Around 12:25 hrs., the police officers arrived back at the court with the two men and placed them in the court lock-ups.
The matter was then called at 13:00 hrs. in Court Two.

Singh was brought down first after he was attacked by Sancharra and Gopaul in the prisoners’ chute. Gopaul was second to be escorted from the prisoners’ chute, again, he declared his innocence and stated that he has nothing to do with the death of Isaiah and Joel Henry.
Sancharra came limping after, but did not utter a word.

The Guyana Police Force (GPF) investigators recently announced that they secured a confession from one of the suspects, who under interrogation implicated the two other suspects in the gruesome double murder. As such, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Shalimar Ali-Hack, S.C, (DPP) recommended charges be instituted on the three suspects.

The murder of the Henry cousins sent shockwaves through the country after their mutilated bodies were discovered on September 6, 2020 in clumps of bushes near a coconut estate located at Cotton Tree backdam, West Coast Berbice.

Law enforcement officers for months on end chased multiple leads and battled violent protests that erupted over the news of the gruesome murder.
Last August, the three defendants set up a camp and a cannabis farm in the West Berbice area. When they returned in September, they discovered their camp and cannabis farm were destroyed. The trio later received information that two young men from the Cotton Tree area are known to trample the backlands and destroy farms.

Sometime later, the Henry cousins ventured into the area and two of the suspects asked whether they knew anything about cannabis farms being destroyed in the area and the cousins reportedly laughed.

This angered the two men and Gopaul allegedly took out a cutlass and dealt a chop to one of the Henry cousins’ neck. Sancharra allegedly took out his cutlass and repeated the action.

According to the police, Singh claimed that he joined in the chopping after Gopaul and Sancharra threatened to do the same to him.

Singh allegedly dealt gaping X’s on the Henry cousins’ heads, before their bodies were transported to another section of the backlands and dumped.
The bodies of Isaiah and Joel Henry were later discovered by frantic family members out searching for the young men who were missing since September 5, 2020.

The murders sparked the anger of the West Coast Berbice residents, who engaged in violent, racially targetted protests, even as several men were taken into custody for questioning in relation to the murders over the past four months.

Police are still investigating the death of Haresh Singh, another West Coast Berbice teen, a grandson of one of the men originally taken into custody. Haresh was found lying in a patch of grass and bleeding from the nose in the Number Three Village backdam.

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