The Guyana Court of Appeal on Monday rejected the appeal filed by John Blanchard, who is currently serving a life sentence for the horrific murders of his three children.
Blanchard had moved to the Court of Appeal, challenging the severity of his sentence. But in dismissing the petition, the Court of Appeal reiterated that he must serve his life sentence, which gives him the possibility of parole after 30 years’ imprisonment.
The appeal was heard by Chancellor (ag) Yonette Cummings-Edwards; Justice Dawn Gregory and, Justice Brassington Reynolds. The State was represented by the prosecutor, Natasha Bakker while Blanchard was represented by attorney-in-law, Mark Conway.
The Chancellor, who delivered the ruling, said the court did not find the trial judge erred in law and dismissed the appeal. In 2016, Blanchard appeared before High Court Judge Jo-Ann Barlow charged with the murders but opted to plead to the lesser manslaughter count.
Blanchard, 39, admitted on October 11, 2011, at Dr Charles Sand Road, Soesdyke, Demerara East Bank that he killed his children – six-year-old Joy, four-year-old Daniel and 10-year-old Belika Blanchard.
Justice Barlow sentenced Blanchard to life imprisonment and ordered that he be eligible for parole after serving 30 years in prison. Blanchard allegedly hacked his three children to death with two knives while they slept.
Belika and Daniel died that night, while Joy died a few days later at Georgetown Public Hospital.
Blanchard’s wife worked as a chef in the inner region and on the night in question, the couple engaged in a heated telephone debate.
He finished the call and armed himself with two knives and went into the children’s bedroom while they were sleeping and repeatedly stabbing their bodies.
Blanchard then telephoned his wife and told her what he had done.