A 60-year prison term imposed on Albouystown Georgetown resident Steve Allicock for the murder of Wendell Tappin on Dec. 31, 2009, was reduced to 25 years by the Guyana Court of Appeals.
Following a case in 2017, Allicock was convicted of the offense by a 12-person jury. He was subsequently sentenced to 60 years imprisonment by Justice Navindra Singh.
Tappin, 33, was killed in Hill Street, Albouystown. It was reported that a crowd of people including members of Steve Allicock’s family, armed with knives, cuttings, and pieces of wood were chasing Tappin on the day in question. They reportedly charged him.
A witness said Randolph Allicock grabbed Tappin’s shirt and stuck a knife to his neck. He then kicked him to the floor while other people surrounded him and lashed him in the head.
The witness said Steve Allicock had stabbed Tappin in the area of his heart. The witness also told the court he noticed blood flowing from Tappin’s chest. According to the witness, Natasha Tappin, Wendell Tappin’s sister, picked him up and put him in a vehicle and left him for the hospital.
The injured man was admitted to hospital but later died. His cause of death was given as a haemorrhage due to stab wounds to the heart. Influenced in May 2015, Steve Allicock denied killing the man, noting that he was out of the jurisdiction and could not have been at the crime scene.
Dissatisfied with the High Court’s decision, Steve Allicock, through his lawyer, Mark Conway, appealed against his conviction and sentence. He argued that the conviction cannot stand given the evidence presented during the proceedings. He argued that the 60-year prison term was excessive in all the circumstances of the case.
The Court of Appeal rejected almost all of the grounds of appeal presented by the murder conviction. Judges agreed that the only basis that had merit was the argument that the sentence was serious given the circumstances of the case.
The court therefore upheld Steve Allicock’s conviction for murder and allowed his appeal on the sentencing aspect only.
“We think the sentence is indeed harsh under the circumstances. Accordingly, a sentence of 25 years would have been more appropriate if the trial Judge had considered the life expectancy of the World Health Organization, and the appropriate guidelines as they would have been given from cases in this court in relation to sentence. ”
The above was underlined to the Chancellor of Justice of the Judiciary Yonette Cummings-Edwards, who announced that the sentence would be reduced from 60 to 25 years, and the time spent on remand being deducted to reflect the principles outlined in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) case Romeo Da Costa Hall vs. The Queen.
Media reports are that Steve Allicock’s uncle, Randolph Allicock, and his father, Leonard Allicock, have all been charged with murdering Tappin. Following a case before Justice Diana Insanally, Leonard Allicock was acquitted by a jury.