Skip to main content

January 16 ,2021

Source

The three men who are accused of killing Berbice cousins Isaiah and Joel Henry were yesterday charged with the teens’ murders.

Vinod Gopaul, called “Magga,” 30, of Yakusari North, Black Bush Polder, Corentyne, Berbice, Anil Sancharra, called ‘Dan Pole’ and ‘Rasta,’ 34, of D’Edward Village, West Coast Berbice (WCB) and his stepbrother, Akash Singh, called ‘Monkey,’ 20, of Zeelugt Squatting Area, East Bank Essequibo, appeared before Magistrate Peter Hugh, who read the charges to them in a city courtroom.

Gopaul and Sancharra were charged jointly with the murders, while Singh, who police say has implicated his co-accused in the crimes, was charged separately.

The three men were not allowed to plead to the capital charges and were remanded to prison until February 2nd, when the matters will be called again at the Blairmont Magistrate’s Court.

Before they were transported from the court, a vocal Gopaul proclaimed his innocence to reporters, while speaking through the grillwork of a holding cell.

The father of two he repeatedly claimed that he had never passed the Berbice River Bridge and that he was implicated in the crime by Singh, who he claimed was beaten by the police over the course of three days. He also alleged that he was beaten and robbed of his constitutional rights as a citizen.

He noted that he was first arrested for possession of a firearm and ammunition but after arriving at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters, he was told about a murder offence.

The man, who said he had been locked up since Sunday night, maintained that he had no knowledge about the murders.

Gopaul claimed that ranks placed Singh in front of a camera and forced him to falsely testify against him. Police, who have been under pressure to find the killers, have said Singh has given a statement implicating the other two men as having carried out the savage murders and then forcing him to also participate in chopping the youths or face a similar fate.

The mutilated bodies of Isaiah, 16, and Joel, 18, were found on September 6th, a day after they left home for the Cotton Tree backlands to pick coconuts.

After they did not return home, relatives lodged a report with the police and subsequently launched a search. It was while searching that the bodies of the teens were discovered, triggering a series of protests on the West Coast of Berbice.

Autopsies performed on the bodies of the teenagers showed that they both died from haemorrhaging and shock due to multiple wounds.

Police have said during questioning by ranks of the CID’s Major Crimes Unit, Singh confessed to his involvement in the crime and implicated the others.

Singh, according to a statement given to police, has said the destruction of marijuana that he and the other accused planted, was the motive behind the murders. The cousins were purportedly implicated in the destruction of the plants by another person.

Alleging that he was threatened with the same fate as the teens unless he also participated, Singh has said that he also chopped them. He further alleged that one of his accomplices marked an X on one of the teenagers’ foreheads and they ordered him to do the same to the other teen, which he did. After the chopping, he said, his accomplice placed the teenagers’ bodies on two horses that they had. He said he is unaware of what happened afterwards since he left the scene.

Based on the case file sent to her, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has advised that the trio be charged with the murders.

A number of persons, including the owner of a coconut estate and some who last saw the Henrys before their bodies were discovered, were previously arrested and questioned in relation to the crimes. However, they were subsequently released without being charged.

Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum has said the police are pursuing a number of other individuals.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Ali voices ‘full confidence’ in cops after arrests yield charges for West Berbice murders

January 16 ,2021

Source

President Irfaan Ali yesterday expressed “full confidence” in the Guyana Police Force (GPF) after its recent arrests resulted in charges against three persons over the murders of West Coast Berbice (WCB) cousins Isaiah and Joel Henry.

Ali described the development as a step forward for the country.

“This was very important for us nationally and now it’s a step forward and I am very, very happy,” Ali said.

He was at the time speaking to reporters at the sidelines of an event held at State House.

The President said he is “very happy” that progress was made in the months-long investigations.

“I have full confidence in the police force and the ability of the Crime Chief and his team and I am very happy that we have made such great progress in this matter,” Ali stated.

Meanwhile, Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn told reporters yesterday morning that despite all the critiques faced in recent months, the case appears to have been “fairly” and “quickly” resolved.

According to Benn, the fact that the law enforcement officers were successful in getting to this stage in the matter shows that the Guyana Police Force is capable of engaging “difficult things” in a “fair” manner.

“The fact that we have done this particularly by ourselves shows that we have the capability,” Benn said, while adverting to what he described as attempts at “interfering with and confusing the investigations and also putting out doubts and malicious suggestions that we do not have the ability and capability to solve this problem.”

He added, “we will now await the outcome of the judicial review of the manner.”

Isaiah, 16, and Joel, 18, went missing on Saturday, September 5th, 2020 after they left home for the Cotton Tree backlands to pick coconuts. Their mutilated bodies were found the next day.

Three men including two brothers were yesterday charged with the murders and remanded to prison.

The men were arrested by the police on January 10th and January 11th. One of them provided the police with a recorded statement detailing his involvement in the murders.

He implicated his two accomplices, who denied the allegation.

The suspect who confessed told investigators that the Henrys were allegedly murdered over the destruction of a quantity of marijuana plants.

Given the nature of the crime, Benn was asked about the level of security which will be provided to the trio while they are in custody awaiting the hearing of their respective matters.

He said the Guyana Police Force will have to ensure that they are “safe” and “securely” kept.

These three teens died in some sort of sacrifice ritual. The amount of blood that would have bled from the Henry boys does not jell with this story. These people should get Nigel Hughes to defend them. They are being set up.

The men were arrested by the police on January 10th and January 11th. One of them provided the police with a recorded statement detailing his involvement in the murders.

This was most likely beaten out of him. He can claim that he was forced to make this statement, since his lawyer was not present.

Akash, Vinod and Anil ? The police indicated that they are looking for others.  Remember that for the DPP to recommend charges she had to have seen evidence supporting a possible conviction. 

This whole thing does not sound legit. Look like the PPP were trying to get a few Indos to be fall guys. These three guys dont even look like they are smart enough to commit such a heinous crime.

If statement was obrained without the presence of a lawyer, that can be a problem.

Now, the question is who killed the Indian kid?

Fact ... Joel Henry, Isaiah Henry and Haresh Singh lost their lives.

Investigations with related matters must be pursued in a proper manner to reach a definite conclusion in the Courts.

Information from the current investigation and court appearances are revealing questionable issues on the current process.

Fact ... Joel Henry, Isaiah Henry and Haresh Singh lost their lives.

Investigations with related matters must be pursued in a proper manner to reach a definite conclusion in the Courts.

Information from the current investigation and court appearances are revealing questionable issues on the current process.

You contradict yourself.  Yes, the courts will decide so shouldn't they decide if there are questionable issues in the current process.  What are the questionable issues?  Isn't the DPP the one to assess the strength of a case?  Do you know what evidence she had before her?

Henry boys’ murders stemmed from destroyed ganja farm

Isaiah Henry, 16, and his 19-year-old cousin, Joel Henry were murdered because they were believed to have destroyed a ganja farm located in the West Berbice backlands.

This is according to the hour-long confession given by one of the three suspects who will today be arraigned for the brutal killings.

On September 6, 2020 the badly mutilated bodies of Isaiah and Joel were found in the backlands of Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice – almost two days after they had left their Number Three Village, WCB home to pick coconuts.

On Thursday, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) advised investigators to charge 19-year-old Akash Singh, called “Monkey,” of Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo (EBE); his stepbrother, 33-year-old Anil Sancharra, called “Dan pole” and “Rasta,” of D’ Edward Village, WCB; and 34-year-old Vinod Gopaul, called “Magga,” of Yakusari, Black Bush Polder, Corentyne, Berbice.

Singh was arrested on Sunday last after Police received information.

The other suspects were then taken into custody the following day.

In fact, Gopaul attempted to escape but was eventually apprehended.

Head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Wendell Blanhum, told reporters on Thursday evening that Gopaul and Sancharra have remained silent.

However, Singh has since confessed.

The Crime Chief had facilitated a group of reporters to view Singh’s confession video on Thursday evening.

In the confession, Singh told the police that he had accompanied Gopaul and Sancharra to the West Coast Berbice backlands sometime in August 2020 to cultivate cannabis.

He said the duo had obtained the ganja from an individual.

After planting the illegal crops, they then left the area and returned in September, but when they arrived at the farm, it was destroyed.

Singh told the Police that everything was sprayed with gramoxone – a chemical herbicide.

According to Singh, Gopaul and Sancharra started to use indecent language and decided to go to the individual who had given them the ganja plants.

But on the way, the trio met the individual’s workers who related that their ganja was also destroyed and weeds stolen, and started to assault them.

However, the three suspects indicated that their farm was also damaged, and took the workers there to prove it.

Singh said that they were then taken to the man who had given them the ganja plants, and while there, both Gopaul and Sancharra declared that they will “chop up” whoever destroyed their crop.

At that point, Singh said, the man told them that two “wicked black boys” does go in the backdam and destroy their “things”, and eat out their foods.

Singh said that they spent the night there, and the following morning, when they woke up, he again heard the other two suspects scheming about what they will do to whomever destroyed the ganja farm.

He said some time after, while he was in the camp, he heard the voices of Gopaul and Sancharra. There were other voices as well, and as such, he went to check on who else was there.

Singh told investigators that he saw Gopaul and Sancharra with two boys, and gave descriptions matching the Henry cousins.

He said the four of them were smoking weed and communicating when Gopaul raised the issue about the damaged ganja farm.

It was at that time that the “two boys” looked at each other and started to laugh.

According to Singh, Gopaul then told the boys that “I talking about my things being destroy and “y’all laughing, y’all gon feel pain”.

Singh said at that point the “tall one” get up and Gopaul dealt him a chop to the neck with a cutlass.

Sancharra then chopped the second boy to his neck.

Singh related that the two men kept firing chops about the bodies of the two young boys.

Singh said the boys’ bodies started “trembling” and then the two murderers turned to him to say that if he (Singh) does not join them, they will also kill him.

Singh related that he took a cutlass and started chopping at the two teens; he marked an ‘X’ on the forehead of one of the boys while Sancharra did the same to the other boy.

He then told the Police that duo left the camp with the bodies on a horseback, while he stayed back at the camp.

The account of what transpired is consistent with initial police findings that the area where the bodies of the teenage bodies were found was not the prime crime scene, but they were merely dumped there.

After his confession, Singh took investigators to the camp, and he pointed out where the murders took place.

According to the Crime Chief, only someone who is familiar with the area could have found the camp.

In the meantime, investigators are working aggressively to tie up the loose ends to ascertain the veracity of Singh’s confession.

Meanwhile, the Police say Gopaul, called Magga, is a known character with criminal background dating back to his teenage years.

He was first taken into prison at the age of 14 back in 2004, when he was accused of murdering his father, whom he reportedly shot dead.

Then in August 2007, Gopaul was among 18 prisoners who escaped from the New Amsterdam Prison. He was recaptured not long after in East Bank Berbice, but escaped a second time in June 2011. He was 19 at the time, and was among four prisoners who fled the New Amsterdam Prison.

He was rearrested during a Police dragnet. The cops had raided his home, and after seeing the Police, he made an attempt to escape by fleeing into the backlands, but ended up running into the Police dragnet.

More recently, however, Gopaul was sentenced to 18 months in his absence. He was then arrested in May 2019 during a cordon-and-search exercise, and at the time had 15 grams of cannabis in his possession. He was also wanted for questioning in a narcotics’ trafficking matter.

Additionally, Gopaul was also wanted for questioning in relation to several matters of robbery under arms.

The murders of the Henry cousins had sparked protests across several villages along the West Coast Berbice corridor, where commuters were beaten and robbed. With roads blocked, some vehicles were also torched.

Then days later, on September 9, 17-year-old Haresh Singh was found murdered at the Number Three Village backlands. It is suspected that his death was in retaliation for the murders of Isaiah and Joel, since he is related to one of the persons initially held by the Police for the cousins’ murders.

However, the Police are yet to make any breakthrough in that case.

THE PURPORTED COFESSION IN THE HENRY MURDERS LACKS CREDIBILITY, IS A CON AND A BIG LIE. THE CRIME CHIEF SHOULD BE FIRED

BY RICKFORD BURKE: My fellow Guyanese, I read the Inews account of the alleged confession in the Henry murders, which was video taped. Three persons were arrested pursuant to this alleged confession, placed before the court and were remanded.

Inews said the Crime Chief allowed reporters to view the alleged video confession. The Inews report stated that the alleged self confessed murderer claimed that he was told by the alleged other two killers that if he didn't join in the chopping of the teens, he too would be killed.

The report then claimed that he said that he joined the chopping, and cut an X in the "forehead" of one of the boys. He then claimed that one of the other two killers (whom he identified) then did the same to the other teen.

This is what Inews said verbatim: "Singh said the boys’ bodies started “trembling” and then the two murderers turned to him to say that if he (Singh) does not join them, they will also kill him."

"Singh related that he took a cutlass and started chopping at the two teens; he marked an ‘X’ on the forehead of one of the boys while Sancharra did the same to the other boy."

There are two major problems however:
1. The X was chopped to the side of the head and not the forehead (see photo below).

2. Only one of the boys had an X chop in the head.

I have confirmed these details with Attorney Nigel Hughes who witnessed the autopsy. I have also reviewed the photos of the bodies thoroughly. The confession is wholly inconsistent with the evidence. Hence, there goes the confession.

The Guyana Police Force is a national disgrace. To think that defacto President of Guyana, Irfaan Ali, countenanced this attemp to con the nation is repugnant to justice and decency.

I maintain that PPP supporters kill€d these boys and that the PPP regime, the Crime Chief and others in the Police Force are trying to cover-up the murders and protect the killers.

Last edited by Django
@lil boy posted:

'I maintain that the PPP supporters killed these boys' says Burke. What was the motive? And why would the regime be complicit in it, having just won a hard fought election? It makes no sense.

WHO is Rickford Burke?

@Mitwah posted:

The men were arrested by the police on January 10th and January 11th. One of them provided the police with a recorded statement detailing his involvement in the murders.

This was most likely beaten out of him. He can claim that he was forced to make this statement, since his lawyer was not present.

Mitts, I tend to agree with u here. The GPF will beat the crap outta yuh for a confession.

@Nehru posted:

Sheik, I think one of them got caught with a crime and decided to implicate others for leniency. Dat dummy Burke is a classic IDIOT as usual

Nobody should forget what Burke did for the PNC between 1985 and 1992. He was Desmond Hoyte's, right-hand man. After the PPP won in 1992, Burke raised hell to get rid of the PPP.

Burke was DELITE1 on GNI.

Last edited by Ramakant-P
@Nehru posted:

Sheik, I think one of them got caught with a crime and decided to implicate others for leniency.

Dat dummy Burke is a classic IDIOT as usual

Was it the crime of brutal snuffing out the lives of the Henry boys ?

There will be his talk show tonight ,the guest will be N.Hughes .

Last edited by Django
@Django posted:

Was it the crime of brutal snuffing out the lives of the Henry boys ?

There will be his talk show tonight ,the guest will be N.Hughes .

Does snuffing out of Harish life because he was related to a suspect at the time justified? Should this crime be ignored because it was less brutal?

@sachin_05 posted:

Does snuffing out of Harish life because he was related to a suspect at the time justified? Should this crime be ignored because it was less brutal?

No, to both questions. Let's don't ignore the allegations that Harish was friends with the Henry boys and it was alleged that they have destroyed cannabis fields in the backlands.

@Nehru posted:

Sheik, I think one of them got caught with a crime and decided to implicate others for leniency. Dat dummy Burke is a classic IDIOT as usual

Eh heh, the leniency he got was a murder charge.

@Django posted:

Was it the crime of brutal snuffing out the lives of the Henry boys ?

There will be his talk show tonight ,the guest will be N.Hughes .

Please, don't give credit to Nigel Hughes, he spent TWO years in 5th Form at Saints, he is a dunce, his father was a lawyer, thus pulling strings got him into law. In Guyana he is known as the Ambulance chaser His Texas Lobby firm folded.

Burkie is another joker, he dances to the political tune.