…sentenced to more than 12 years in jailTwenty-seven-year-old Vanessa Baird was handed a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence on Tuesday after she admitted to killing 43-year-old push cart vendor Percival Williams, on December 21, 2013 over $1000 at the Parika Stelling, East Bank Essequibo.Represented by Defence Counsel, Mark Conway, the mother of one, in tears, asked the court to be lenient with her so that she can return to care for her seven-year-old child.According to the State’s case which was presented by Prosecutors Abigail Gibbs, Natasha Backer and Tiffini Lyken, Williams was given $1000 by his would-be killer to purchase Chinese food for her and her son. At some point however, she asked Williams, a former Hague, West Coast Demerara resident for the money that she gave him and the two exchanged expletives after he did not comply.Baird held onto Williams’ jersey and a scuffle ensued and she then stabbed him in the lower chest area. The prosecution further relayed that the accused in her caution statement admitted that she had taken the knife from another person and committed the act.Williams immediately fell to the ground and was pronounced dead at the Leonora Cottage Hospital. His post-mortem examination showed that he died from perforation of the lung and heart due to stabbing. Reports back then were that Williams had converted the money to his own use.In making pleas of mitigation, Baird’s attorney observed that at the time of the incident, the woman was encountering financial difficulties being a single parent. Conway highlighted that his client has reflected on her actions and has improved her ability to have self-control. The court also heard that the woman now attends church services, sewing and drama classes whilst being incarcerated.Presiding Judge Navindra Singh, noted that it did not make sense to kill Baird in the manner which he lost his life. He encouraged her to seek out anger management classes as she continues the rehabilitation process. Baird’s time spent on remand awaiting trial will be deducted from her overall sentence.
On Friday, a combination of excitement, suspense and anticipation filled the atmosphere at the Stabroek Market Square, Georgetown, as GTT’s Christmas promotion’s four finalists competed against each other for the grand prize BMW X1, which comes with one-year free insurance and one year free super 95 gas from Guyoil.Families and supporters of the four finalists flooded the location to back their favourite contestant.Voting was the first leg of the competition, then Shameer Rahamut, Shinella Charles, Noel Fernandes and Sean Charles all battled through several obstacle challenges in the second leg of the competition to win the grand prize. The second leg of the competition comprised of Cake Eating, Dunk that Junk, Balloon blow up, Question and Answers on GTT’s Plus Sized promotion and a sing off battle.Quadrupling his competitors’ votes with help from the public, was Enterprise Gardens’, Noel Fernandes. He also scored ample points in the obstacle challenges which led to Fernandes emerging as the winner of GTT’s BMW X1.After being announced the winner of the BMW X1, Fernandes in full excitement said he was elated to be the victor of the competition. “I feel very deserving.I placed my best foot forward and this is the reward I am reaping now. I am just thankful to GTT for affording me such an opportunity and I promise to take good care of the vehicle and drive responsibly.” An overjoyed Fernandes drove off in his new BMW X1 with his wife and son who both shared his sentiments.Copping the second prize was Sean Charles from Agricola who took home $150,000. Stealing the crowd’s heart was Shinella Charles who placed third and took away $100,000, followed by Shameer Rahamut who walked away with $50,000.Partnering on the promotion with GTT was Guyoil who handed over one-year free supply of Super 95 Gas to the winner of the BMW X1.
A section of the students during the interactive sessionA number of students attached to the Upper Corentyne Industrial Training Centre (UCITC) were given insight on the country’s rapidly emerging oil and gas industry during an interactive session. The teens were lectured on the potential impact and transformation it will have on the economy.Office Manager at the Energy Department Sharon Patterson explained that through these interactive sessions, the aim is to improve the level of awareness about the oil and gas sector and what it has to offer, especially to young persons.“We want to be able to provide information and sensitise persons, regardless if it’s young people, the RDC, or religious groups. We want to provide information on the sector and what it offers. Additionally, we want to make persons aware of the opportunities that exist within and beyond the sector, benefits that can be derived and our aim is to provide an opportunity for participants to directly be involved in the discussions of oil and gas,” Patterson noted.Further, she said that at the end of 2018, more than 54 per cent of persons directly employed in the oil and gas sector were Guyanese, with plans for that figure to increase to 75 per cent by the end of 2020.These interactive sessions seek to educate a large number of Guyanese, as scores of Berbicians were also sensitised earlier this year on the multiplier effect of the new sector. This session was, however, hosted by Head of the Department of Energy Dr Mark Bynoe.During this recent session, Bynoe explained that the sector will be managed through recruitment and instructional strengthening, the revision of the legal framework, and partnering with other agencies, while informing that the right policies will be established to assist with managing the sector.In March of 2019, 24 Guyanese operations and maintenance technicians had joined the US oil giant, ExxonMobil, while another 50 technicians will commence recruitment in early 2020.