Following friend’s fiery death …”MAN JAILED FOR 5 YEARS”

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Nizam Mohammed spent the last ten years awaiting trial for murder. He was eventually found guilty of manslaughter. The ten years he sat in the remand yard was taken into account in the sentencing.

So Mohammed, 45, a doubles vendor, will only serve another five years before he is released.

Mohammed’s wife, Putitia, 39, also a doubles vendor, and their worker, Daniel Sammy, were all on trial for murder.

They are from Cipero Road, San Fernando, and were charged with throwing gasoline on Stephen Joshua, 37, also called Jumbo, and setting him alight.

Putitia and Sammy were found not guilty on March 28, but the jury found Mohammed guilty of manslaughter.

He had offered to plead guilty on advice from attorney Israel Khan SC, but the State rejected it.

In passing sentence in the San Fernndo High Court on Monday, Justice Maria Wilson said the jury rejected Mohammed’s defence of self-defence and found he was provoked by Joshua.

According to the facts, around 4.10 pm on May 3, 2008, Joshua, who was known to the family and who lived a short distance away, stormed the house and, poking a hand towards Mohammed’s face, shouted, “Man, take yuh time, know what you doing!”

There was a scuffle and Joshua fell.

Gasoline was poured on Joshua, and Mohammed, using his cigarette lighter, set him on fire.

Joshua died ten days later in hospital.

Wilson pointed out that 24 years would be a starting point, life being the maximum for manslaughter.

She deducted three years for Joshua’s aggravating behaviour and six years for Mohammed’s willingness to plead guilty.

She said the doubles vendor was contrite and was of good character, such that he often gave away free doubles.

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