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Friend hurt by CCJ ruling

MARIA BRADSHAW, [email protected]

Friend hurt by CCJ ruling

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Human rights activist Dr Amy Beam is angry about the turn of events surrounding the decade-old murder of 16-year-old Anna Druzhinina.

The American, who spends six months in Barbados and six months in Iraq assisting the survivors of ISIS, said she could not comprehend why the teenager’s killer, Teerath Persaud, would soon walk out of prison a free man.

The Caribbean Court of Justice last week reduced his 25-year prison sentence to 18 years. He had pleaded guilty in 2012 to killing Anna and has another seven years left behind bars. His partner-in-crime Omar McCollin was sentenced to 16 years.

Beam, who was very close to Anna’s parents John and Larissa Jackson, and who referred to herself as the child’s “auntie”, told the DAILY NATION she was horrified, first by the lower court’s decision to accept the manslaughter plea, and now by the CCJ’s decision to reduce the sentence.

She said she was devastated when Persaud was also allowed to plead guilty to the lesser charge.

Recalling how she accompanied Larissa to the court hearings, Beam said at one point a judge threatened her with contempt after she wrote a letter to the court.

“I sent a statement to the court about the suffering the family was going through,” she confessed.

“I feel deep anguish for Anna’s parents, myself and all the people of Barbados who suffer from this injustice,” she added. (MB)

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