Father, who killed children, loses appeal to reduce 30-year sentence
Not Rehanna Ramsay
Kaieteur News – John Blanchard, the Soesdyke man of Demerara East Bank, found guilty in 2016 for hacking his three children to death while asleep, has lost his bid to appeal the severity of his sentence.
Blanchard was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment by Justice Jo Ann Barlow following an appearance in the High Court in 2016. He had admitted fatally stabbing and stabbing his three young children: Joy, 6; Belika, 10; and Daniel, 4.
The incident occurred on October 11, 2011 at their home in Dr. Charles Sand Road, Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara (EBD).
The former accused, initially charged with murder, pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of manslaughter on his first appearance in the High Court. As such, Blanchard was not held in a High Court case. However, he had moved to the Court of Appeal to challenge the sentence on the grounds that it was clearly excessive and serious in the circumstances of the case. The Court of Appeal disagrees.
The Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cumming-Edwards, who delivered a ruling on behalf of the three-member bench, announced that the life sentence will be upheld because the Court of Appeal considers the sentence to be fair in the circumstances of the case . The Chancellor noted that the case involved three innocent children who were subjected to a heinous crime committed against them by their own father.
He noted that Blanchard’s reason for stabbing and cutting his children was due to the fact that their mother (his wife) had refused to return home from the inside.
Blanchard, he said, told the High Court he loved his children but didn’t know what came over him that night. The Judge also noted that Blanchard had threatened to take his own life but was unsuccessful in doing so. Given those circumstances, Justice Cummings-Edwards said that the accused must remain in prison and serve his sentence. He emphasized that the Court of Appeal will not allow any reduction to the 30 year prison term.
In 2011, Blanchard was living alone with his children on the Soesdyke / Linden Highway when he got off his feet and fatally cut all three of his young children, following a disagreement with his wife.
Back then, news reports had indicated that the children’s mother, Onica Blanchard, at the time of the incident was inside where she had secured a job.
The reports indicated that Mrs. Blanchard has left her children in the care of their father in search of a better job at the mining location in Madhia, Region Eight. The couple had allegedly shared a strained relationship due to Mrs.’s absence. Blanchard. The murders may have been triggered by a phone conversation Blanchard had with his wife minutes before the incident, according to reports.