The former stepfather of four-year-old Amy Emily Annamunthodo will face a retrial for allegedly torturing and beating her to death, over 15 years ago.
Delivering an oral decision during a virtual hearing yesterday morning, Appellate Judges Alice Yorke-Soo Hon, Mark Mohammed, and Malcolm Holdip, who upheld Marlon King’s appeal against his conviction last month, ruled that he should face another trial.
“In our view, the balance has been tipped in favour of the ordering of a retrial. We are satisfied that the interests of justice will be served by so ordering,” Mohammed, who delivered the panel’s unanimous decision, said.
Mohammed and his colleagues immediately sought to alleviate King’s concerns over the length of time it may take for his retrial by ordering that his case be immediately placed on a judge’s trial list so it could be heard expeditiously.
They also ordered that it should come up for case management no later than August 9.
In their decision, the appeal panel rejected submissions from King’s attorneys that he should be acquitted of the charge based on the inordinate length of time between the offence and an eventual retrial.
While the panel accepted that the pace of the criminal justice system was “far from ideal”, it noted that such delays were not sufficient to trump the public’s interest in having King’s innocence or guilty determined by a jury.
The judges disregarded King’s complaints about his health issues and prison conditions noting that while in prison, he was medically examined 22 times and saw a psychiatrist on seven occasions.
The panel also stated that complaints about being beaten by prison officers and fellow prisoners were not relevant to them deciding on a retrial.
Referring to complaints about the strength of the case against King, Mohammed said it could not be described as weak or tenuous.
King is accused of murdering Annamunthodo at his Ste Madeleine Road, Marabella, home on May 15, 2006.
Medical reports showed that Annamunthodo was burnt with cigarettes on her vagina, inner thigh, and forearm an hour before she died. She also suffered multiple internal and external injuries throughout her body, including a broken rib and bruised organs.
In its decision last month, the appeal panel ruled that former president and High Court judge Anthony Carmona made several errors when he presided over King’s trial in 2012.
It ruled that in summing up the case to the jury that eventually convicted King, Carmona misdirected them on the evidence of King’s ex-wife Lou-Ann Davis, who testified about domestic abuse she allegedly endured, and of his neighbour Anthony Rocke, who testified that he saw King punching the child 20 to 30 times while she hung from a cloth tied to her hair and attached to a door ledge.
During the trial, King claimed that he had left the child with her mother and Rocke and suggested that he (Rocke) was in fact the culprit.
King was represented by Peter Carter and Delicia Helwig-Robertson while Travers Sinanan is representing the State.