Justice Gillian Lucky

A 26-year-old man, who stabbed a mother of one to death less than a week before his 15th birthday, is expected to be released from prison in a decade’s time.

While Nicholas Rampersad was convicted of murdering 17-year-old Navisha Crystal Bedaysee at the end of a judge-alone trial before Justice Gillian Lucky on December 23, last year, he was only sentenced during a hearing at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, yesterday morning.

In assessing the appropriate sentence for Rampersad, Lucky waived the mandatory death penalty as Rampersad was a minor and began with a starting point of 25 years in prison.

Lucky then decided to increase it by two years because he had a criminal record before committing the offence.

Lucky reduced the sentence by four years as the murder was committed when he was teenager and by two years based on his exemplary disciplinary record in prison including training as a tailor. She then deducted the nine years and five months he spent on remand awaiting trial.

As with all minors convicted of murder, Rampersad will have annual reviews of his sentence but is not allowed to be released before serving four years and six months.

“The court is confident that with greater monitoring, there is hope for Rampersad when he comes out,” Lucky said.

According to the evidence in the case, Bedaysee was stabbed to death on June 27, 2008, while she, her two-year-old daughter and Rampersad were at his family home in Marabella.

Around 8.30 pm, Bedaysee ran out of the house and collapsed. Neighbours came to her assistance and asked her who stabbed her.

She said it was Nicholas, but there were two people named Nicholas living in the community.

When asked if it was Rampersad, she shook her head in the affirmative. An autopsy showed that the young mother had been stabbed 15 times.

There was no evidence of the motive and circumstances surrounding the incident.

Lucky also considered testimonials from his mother and aunt presented by his attorney Rekha Ramjit. The testimonials revealed that Rampersad was forced to drop out of school as his mother could not afford to send him.

“You had a challenging life and you did not get the support and counselling that was needed…Poverty is not an excuse for what you did,” she said, as she advised him to use his remaining time in prison wisely.

The case was prosecuted by Trevor Jones.