…already served 3 years for similar attack on mother Forty-year-old Toney Marcus was on Thursday sentenced to eight years imprisonment by High Court Judge Brassington Reynolds for feloniously wounding Etwaru Narine on July 6, 2014, at Agricola Public Road, Greater Georgetown. Marcus, who was said to have had a stable upbringing, has suffered mental health issues linked to the abuse of narcotics.Earlier this month, the offender pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm or to maim, disfigure or disable Narine. He had been alternatively charged, having also faced the indictment of attempted murder. He however entered a not guilty plea on that charge. During Thursday’s proceedings, he was unrepresented while Attorney Tiffini Lyken prosecuted the case.According to the facts of the matter, the two men were well known to each other and on the day in question; Narine and another friend were drinking at a shop in the community. Soon afterwards, Marcus walked up to the victim and asked him for the money he was owed and then threatened Narine. After Narine did not give the defendant the money as requested, Marcus left and returned some 30 minutes later and chopped Narine about his body. The injured man was wrapped in a sheet and transported to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was treated and later sent away.Before the accused was sentenced, a probation report was presented by Probation and Social Services Officer, Aggrey Azore. It was revealed that Marcus served three years in prison for unlawfully wounding his own mother over money. During his time in prison, officers described him as disciplined but noted that he would sometimes speak to himself.Azore told the court that the defendant expressed remorse for his actions and noted that he was angry when Narine did not return the money owed to him. The probation officer’s investigation further found that Marcus was often teased by neighbours in the McDoom, Greater Georgetown area where he lived and was even called “Mad Toney”. The court also heard that Marcus is not consistent in taking his medication even though he has been a patient of a psychiatric ward.Justice Reynolds considered that several chops were inflicted on the Virtual Complainant, telling Marcus that he should “thank his lucky stars” that the victim did not succumb to his injuries. The Judge, contending that Marcus is “treatable”, outlined that the offender needs to be in a controlled environment where he can take his medication.Having considered the United Nations’ estimation of male life expectancy being 63 years, Justice Reynolds started at a base of 18 years, three months for sentencing. From this number, five years was deducted for his guilty plea; four years, three months was deducted for the time spent on remand while one year was considered for his probation report. This resulted in a period of eight years for which Marcus was ordered to serve.The offender was earlier this year ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to ascertain his mental state. Dr Bhiro Harry who carried out the assessment determined that Marcus was fit to stand trial. (Shemuel Fanfair)
11-year-old Nalia Rahaman of Westfield Prep has been announced the top student at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) examinations, having secured a perfect score of 529. Education Minister Nicolette Henry made the announcement at the National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD) on Thursday.The elated student explained that she was very happy to have been informed that she had secured the top spot this year. Rahaman had sat the examination at a tender age of ten with the aspiration of becoming an author.“I was very happy, and it is what I prayed for in the month of Ramadan. I made lots of prayers to Allah, so I was very happy, very glad and very grateful. I had to study a lot, and be very disciplined,” she detailed.Rahaman explained that she hadn’t expected to do this well at the examinations, because the Science Paper Two and Social Studies Paper Two had been most challenging to complete.Asked if her accomplishment had entailed long nights of studying, the top students said, “Not really, because the latest I went to bed was 10 ‘o’ clock one night. I used to wake up in the morning and pray and then revise, because I couldn’t really function revising late at night.”Rahaman’s mother, Nabeenah Mohamed, had this to say: “It is such an honour. Today she’s the top student, and not only the top student, but the top student with a perfect score. It was a very tight schedule, so it’s like constant revision, but Nalia has always been consistent.”Mohamed’s advice to parents whose children will be writing the examination next year is to listen to their children and devise strategies which would work in their favour.“You have to do what is best for your child. You don’t pirate what you see in front of you. Just listen to your child, and children should listen to their parents,” MohamedEducation Minister Nicolette Henry and Chief Education Office Marcel Hudson pose with the top performersadmonished.Meanwhile, the second top performer, Arthur Roberts from the New Guyana School, who secured 525 marks, stated: “I feel really great and elated and proud of myself that I made it so far and got such a high score in this examination. For preparation, I had to give up a lot of my extracurricular activities: playing sports and watching a lot of television, playing games on electronic devices.”Roberts indicated that he was all along aiming for a place at Queen’s College, and he is now working towards his lifelong goal of being a paediatrician.Cianna Barkoye of North Ruimveldt Primary, who secured 523 marks, noted that she was expecting to excel because of her endless studying.“I want to enter my new school and make new friends. I think the Social Studies paper was challenging, but the easiest was Mathematics. For this I want to thank my teacher, parents and friends,” she declared.The top Success Elementary School performer, Zyia Braithwaithe, who gained 523 marks, said, “I feel very excited that I got the school that I got, along with being in the top 10. Now I plan to relax, because I’ve earned a break from all the tiring studies and late nights.”Krystal Duncan of the New Guyana School, who acquired 523 marks, recalled the long nights which accompanied hours of studying to learn everything that she needed to know.“I feel excited. I stayed up late at nights and woke up every morning to study. I had to give up some sports, like basketball and so.”Out of Leonora Primary School on the Demerara West Coast, Darren Ramphal, who obtained 522 marks, explained that he is indeed proud of himself, and is looking forward to entering his new school with the intention of achieving even greater heights.“My parents were very proud of me, and even more excited than I was. I now plan to go into secondary school and work very hard to achieve my dreams,” he explained.Cassie Farinha from Peter’s Hall Primary, an aspiring environmental scientist, exclaimed, “I’m very excited! I was kind of expecting this.”Encouraging her fellow students to study harder and try to dedicate even more time into their studies, she remarked, “Hard work is the key to success”.Another Leonora Primary School student, Virendra Dookie, related, “I’m very elated and thrilled at my results. I fell happy that my letter was chosen among the best, because English is not really my favourite subject; I like Mathematics.”Dookie believes that the most challenging subject for him in this year’s examination was Social Studies, and he is now aspiring to become a lawyer.The top student for Region One (Barima-Waini) was Romario De Souza; from Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), it was Alex Muntaz; from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), it was Darren Ramphal; from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Kaydee Ali prevailed; as did Anne Khemraj from Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Rajiv Babulall from Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Kenneth Edwards from Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Lotasha Stanislaus from Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), Nikolai Kissoon from Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), Shakina Mc Gregor from Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice), and Nalia Rahaman from Georgetown.