Even though 28-year-old Dwayne Tappin was sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 40 years, he shouted, “Freedom is a must” as he was being escorted out of a courtroom to begin serving the jail time.

The sentence was imposed by Justice Sandil Kissoon yesterday at the High Court in Demerara where Tappin had been on trial for the murder of his 51-year-old uncle, Randolph Seenauth. Tappin chopped off his uncle’s head with a cutlass.
According to the indictment presented by State Prosecutors Abigail Gibbs and Mandel Moore, Tappin murdered his uncle on August 6, 2017, at Better Hope, East Coast Demerara. Tappin had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge and even after he was found guilty, he maintained his innocence. Shortly after the murder had occurred, Police Commander Calvin Brutus had told reporters at the scene that Seenauth and his nephew lived in separate apartments on the plot of land.
He said that around 04:30hrs neighbours heard a loud commotion coming from one of the apartments at 125 South Better Hope, East Coast Demerara. The place was silent for a few minutes, which led them to suspect that something was amiss. Neighbours then called out for Seenauth but got no response. They later contacted the Sparendaam Police Station. Police ranks arrived shortly after and upon pushing the front door to Seenauth’s apartment, found his head lying in a passageway between the living room and kitchen. Further checks were made in the apartment and the rest of the man’s body was discovered on a mattress in the bedroom.
Furthermore, in a caution statement, Tappin told detectives: “Sir this is what happen. Me guh at me uncle at Lot 125 South Better Hope, where meh mother use to live, but me mother move out and I get a key for the house…Every time I go there, he [Seenauth] always attacking me when I go there. When I go there this morning, he attack me with a cutlass after I open the door with me key…
“I suspect he was drunk so I tek way the cutlass from he and fire three chops…I then throw way the cutlass in the cane field at the back of Better Hope.”
At his sentencing hearing yesterday, a Probation Officer told the court that Tappin expressed that he is saddened by the passing of his uncle. It was revealed in a probation report that Tappin dropped out of school in fourth form to pursue his passion of cattle rearing. He later enlisted in the Guyana Defence Force but was dismissed as he was occasionally absent without permission. According to the Probation Officer, neighbours described Tappin as a pleasant, hardworking and caring man.
However, the Probation Officer added that neighbours also complained that there was a constant battle between Tappin and his uncle, especially when they were intoxicated. The probation report noted that Tappin has no previous convictions. The Probation Officer further said that from interactions with Tappin, she is confident that he can be rehabilitated. Justice Kissoon ordered that the murder convict be exposed to rehabilitative programs during incarceration.

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