ATTORNEYS have been given extra time to advance written submissions on whether the Court of Appeal could substitute a verdict of manslaughter for a man convicted of the 2005 murder of a mother and her baby in 2017.
On Tuesday, Justices of Appeal Alice Yorke-Soo Hon, Mark Mohammed and Maria Wilson gave way to attorneys to file submissions on the appeal of Anand Baboolal.
Earlier, the judges refused an application by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions George Busby for an adjournment to give the State some time to reply to submissions filed by defence attorney Daniel Khan.
Busby said he was unable to file his submissions since it was only last Friday, an e-mail was sent by the section manager of the appellate court with the trial judge’s ruling on an issue raised in the grounds of appeal.
He said he received instructions from the DPP to ask for the adjournment since the appeal concerned the death of two people, one of whom was a baby.
Busby said the ground of appeal which dealt with a ruling by the trial judge did not form part of the record of appeal.
He said the State was unwilling to proceed with an appeal in the absence of a formal court record.
In refusing the application, Soo Hon told Busby the court was confident in his skill and diligence to proceed with making his submissions orally.
However, later on the issue of the manslaughter substitution was raised in response to another ground of appeal on provocation and loss of self-control.
Busby said loss of self control was a part of the defence and it was possible that the accused was deprived of a manslaughter verdict because of the judge’s misdirection, as he again asked for time to advance submissions on if a substituted sentence of manslaughter could happen or if a retrial should be ordered.
He said it was only fair for the defence to know the State’s position on those issues before his client makes a decision if to accept a substituted conviction.
In the end, the judges allowed the attorneys to file submissions on the substitution of a conviction of manslaughter or a re-trial and adjourned the matter to a date to be announced.
Baboolal was convicted of killing Ria Ramlochan, 26, and her 18-month-old son Ishmael Timothy Ragbir in 2005.
Ramlochan’s body was found in the pit of a latrine at her Solomon Street, Mayaro home on August 13 2005.
There were stab wounds to her chest and abdomen. Her baby was discovered entangled in a fishing net at the Mafeking River that same day. He was cut and stabbed over 14 times.