Women's Issues In Guyana


Death sentence for butcher who butchered wife

Posted in Crimes against Women,Judicial by wiig on November 1, 2006
Tags: , , ,

Guyana Chronicle – November 1, 2006

DEMERARA Assize Court Judge Yonette Cummings-Edwards yesterday sentenced Buxton Side Line Dam butcher, Vaughn Barth, 41, to death for butchering his 38-year old wife Ronin Chester-Barth.

“May the Lord have mercy upon your soul”, the judge said in passing the death sentence after the jury’s unanimous guilty verdict.

The case for the Prosecution was that the butcher believed his wife was having an affair with another man and had tried to enquire about the friendship but was beaten by his rival.

On December 28, 2003, Barth, the jury was told, decided to take matters into his own hands after accusing his wife of sleeping out the night before and returning that morning in a mini-bus with her lover.

According to witnesses, the husband noted that instead of repenting, his wife told him he was no longer a fit sexual partner, and that she had to seek another man.

Police said he beat her on the head with a rolling pin and after she fell semi- conscious, he slit her throat with a knife, chopped off both her hands, leaving one on the bed and the other near her body, in a pool of blood on the floor.

The court was told he then slashed her abdomen causing her intestines to protrude.

Barth, represented by Attorney-at-law Peter Hugh, pleaded not guilty, claiming he was an epileptic, and after his wife hit him on the head that day following an argument, he became dazed and did not know what happened afterwards.

Hugh argued that the butcher was not the master of his mind that day and therefore could not form the intention to kill — one of the ingredients to establish the offence of murder.

But Prosecutor Leron Daly, referring to the wounds and how these were inflicted, declared, “As a butcher, and accustomed to slaughtering cows and pigs and other animals, perhaps he mistook the bedroom that day for a slaughter house.”

Responding to the defence counsel’s claim that Barth did not intend to kill and that he was not the master of his mind, Prosecutor Daly asked, “if he did not have an intention to kill, why is it that he was walking with a knife in his waist? He had the knife there with the intention to kill. He not only had the intention to kill but he also had the intention to end his own life by drinking kerosene…but things turned out differently.”

Justice Cummings-Edwards summed up the evidence in two-and-a-half hours and the mixed jury took two hours to reach the unanimous verdict.

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  1. […] and where he was found and arrested by a posse this morning. There are threats of lynching. Death sentence for butcher who butchered wife Women’s Issues In Guyana […]


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