From: Subject: Sir Lionel Luckhoo Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2010 22:20:56 -0700 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/related; type="text/html"; boundary="----=_NextPart_000_0005_01CB0B46.B18BB350" X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2900.5931 This is a multi-part message in MIME format. ------=_NextPart_000_0005_01CB0B46.B18BB350 Content-Type: text/html; charset="Windows-1252" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Location: Sir Lionel Luckhoo

Sir Lionel Luckhoo, the=20 flamboyant Guyanese barrister who has died aged 83, was listed in the = Guinness=20 Book of Records as the world's most successful advocate, with 245 = consecutive=20 successful defenses in murder cases.

Known as the "Perry Mason of the Caribbean", = Luckhoo was=20 also a highly respected High Commissioner in London for both Guyana and=20 Barbados, a candidate for prime minister, and later in life a = globe-trotting=20 evangelical preacher, founder of the Luckhoo Mission in Dallas,=20 Texas.

Lionel Alfred Luckhoo was born at New = Amsterdam, British=20 Guiana, on March 2 1914, the second of three sons. His Indian = grandfather,=20 Lokhooa, had been "recruited" to work on a sugar plantation in British = Guiana=20 while sightseeing as a boy with his two brothers at Lucknow, in 1859. = The=20 recruiter painted a bright picture of the prospects in a strange land = called=20 "Damra Tapu" (Demerara, a province in British Guiana), where in five = years they=20 could make a fortune, before returning home.

Lokhooa and his brothers, aged 13, 11 and = seven, crossed=20 the Indian and Pacific oceans aboard the Victor Emanuel, and were = assigned to a=20 sugar plantation as indentured labor. Lokhooa converted to Christianity, = thereafter calling himself Moses Luckhoo. When, after years of hard = work, he had=20 saved enough to buy his way out of his indentures, he qualified as an=20 interpreter. He went on to open several provision stores, eventually = becoming=20 one of New Amsterdam's richest merchants.

Lionel's father, Edward Alfred, one of Moses=92 = six sons,=20 became the first East Indian solicitor in the colony in 1899, and later = Mayor of=20 New Amsterdam.

Young Lionel was educated at Queen's College, = Georgetown,=20 before coming to London to study Medicine at St Thomas's Hospital. = Realizing=20 that he could not stand the sight of blood, he switched to Law, and was = called=20 to the Bar by Middle Temple in 1940. He left for home on the day of = Dunkirk, to=20 set up in legal practice with his brother as Luckhoo & Luckhoo, in=20 Georgetown.

As his record suggests, Lionel Luckhoo was=20 extraordinarily persuasive with juries. He was incisive in = cross-examination,=20 and got straight to the nub of a case. Between 1940 and 1985, when he = finally=20 retired, almost all his clients were acquitted at trial. The few that = were not=20 had their convictions overturned on appeal to the Privy = Council.

One such case, Noor Mohamed v R (1949), remains = an=20 authority on so-called similar fact evidence. The defendant, a = goldsmith, was=20 accused of murdering the woman he lived with by causing her to take = cyanide, a=20 substance, which he used for his trade. There was no direct evidence = that he had=20 caused her to take cyanide, and some evidence that she had committed=20 suicide.

At the trial, the prosecution led evidence that = the=20 goldsmith had previously killed his wife with cyanide on pretence that = it was a=20 cure for toothache. On appeal, Luckhoo successfully argued that the = prejudicial=20 effect of this evidence outweighed its probative value, so it had been = wrongly=20 admitted.

After independence, Luckhoo argued for keeping = appeals to=20 the Privy Council, feeling that its legitimacy could not be easily = replicated in=20 the Caribbean. He took Silk in 1954, and was appointed CBE in = 1962.

During the early 1960s, Luckhoo acted for the = maverick=20 cult leader Jim Jones on a child custody case. Jones held sway over a = great many=20 Guyanese, duped by his fake healing ceremonies and seduced into adopting = his=20 free-love lifestyle. In 1978, Jones orchestrated the mass suicide of = some 900=20 people in his commune known as Jonestown. Luckhoo later admitted that = dissuading=20 the deeply unstable Jones from committing suicide on an earlier occasion = was one=20 of his greatest regrets.

In the meantime, Luckhoo had served as a member = of the=20 State Council, 1952-53, and as Minister without Portfolio, 1954-57. He = was Mayor=20 of Georgetown in 1954, 1955, 1960 and 1961.

In the late 1950s, he stood for prime minister = against=20 the coalition led by Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham. Cheddi Jagan's = Progressive=20 People's Party appeared so pro-communist in 1953 that Britain suspended = the=20 constitution for four years and dispatched troops.

As well as being a staunch Anglophile, Luckhoo = was=20 fiercely anti-communist, but his National Labour Front expounded = conservative=20 ideas for which the country was not yet ready, and he failed to garner = enough=20 grass roots support.

When his country gained independence as Guyana = in 1966,=20 Luckhoo became its first High Commissioner in London. That autumn he = also became=20 Barbados's first High Commissioner (he was friendly with the Barbadian = prime=20 minister, Errol Barrow), thereby pioneering the cost-saving system of = joint=20 representation that has since been adopted by many small countries. His = motorcar=20 carried two flags, and not infrequently two places were laid for him at = official=20 banquets.

From 1967 to 1970, Luckhoo also represented = Guyana and=20 Barbados as ambassador in Paris, Bonn and The Hague. He was knighted in = 1966,=20 and appointed KCMG in 1969. But he gave up his diplomatic career in 1970 = and=20 entered chambers in the Temple, returning to Guyana in 1974, after the = failure=20 of his first marriage. Until retiring in 1980, he concentrated on appeal = work.

Luckhoo was very attached to the Turf. The = first horse=20 that he and his brothers owned was called First Luck; it went on to win = 33 races=20 in Guyana and Trinidad, financing a string of 10 horses. He later had = several in=20 training in England with the late Sam Hall, one of which, Philodendron, = won the=20 Liverpool Summer Cup in 1960. He was a regular attender of Royal Ascot, = and in=20 1960 published The Fitzluck Theory of Breeding Racehorses in the = American Blood=20 Horse magazine.

Luckhoo was always immaculately attired, and = had a short,=20 sharp step and gait. Everything was done in a slightly hurried way. He = was a=20 brilliant off-the-cuff speaker, and an accomplished magician, joining = the Magic=20 Circle.

He had always been a Christian, but in later = years he=20 became, as he put it, "an ambassador for Jesus". He founded his mission = in 1980,=20 preached around the world, and wrote pamphlets with such titles as Dear = Atheist=20 and God is Love.

Luckhoo married, first (dissolved 1972), Sheila = Chamberlin; they had two sons and three daughters, who survive him, with = his=20 second wife, Jeannie.

(CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana)
15 = December=20 1997


It is with deep regret that the Community has = learnt of=20 the death of Guyanese born Sir Lionel Alfred Luckhoo QC CBE.

An outstanding member of a family with a = longstanding=20 legal tradition, Sir Lionel carved his own niche in legal history by = earning the=20 acknowledgement as the most successful criminal lawyer with regard to = acquittals=20 in murder cases.

Although Sir Lionel's fame rests chiefly on his = legal=20 exploits, his interests also encompassed politics and diplomacy having = served=20 his country in both the Legislative and Executive Councils, as Mayor of=20 Georgetown and as a distinguished High Commissioner to the United = Kingdom in=20 which position he also served the people of Barbados.

On behalf of the Caribbean Community, the = Secretariat and=20 on my own behalf, I extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Luckhoo family, = and the=20 Government and People of Guyana at this loss.

Sir Lionel Alfred Luckhoo KCMG, CBE, = QC

Born: 2 March 1914 in New = Amsterdam,=20 Berbice.
Died: 13 December 1997.


Queen's College, Guyana.

Honourable = Society of=20 Middle Temple, London.

Professional Achievements:

Called to the Bar (Middle Temple) in=20 1940.

Queen's Counsel (1954).


Mayor=20 of the City of Georgetown (1955 -1956).

Mayor of the City of=20 Georgetown (1960 -1961).


Member of the State Council (1952=20 -1953).

Minister without Portfolio (1954 = -1957).

Guyana's High=20 Commissioner to the United Kingdom (1966 -1970) and also jointly for = Barbados from 1967.


Commander of the Order of the British = Empire=20 (1962).

Knighted in 1966.

Knight Commander of the Most = Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George = (1969).

Listed in=20 the Guinness Book of World Records under the category "Most=20 Successful Lawyer" for obtaining 245 consecutive murder-charge=20 acquittals.


Lionel=20 Luckhoo was the leader of the National Labour Front (NFL), which won = only=20 one seat in the General Elections of 1957. He was an avid fan of the = Turf=20 and owned racehorses in Guyana and England. Following his retirement = from=20 law practice in 1980, he became a Christian Evangelist and founded = his own=20 Mission.

Ambassador for Christ

Sir Lionel Luckhoo, Ambassador at Large from = Fort Worth,=20 Texas, was the owner of an island, raised horses, owned a hotel and was = honored=20 by the Queen of England four times. He was once an ambassador for both = Guyana=20 and Barbados at the same time. He had everything this world could offer, = but he=20 didn't have Jesus. He had a vacuum in him that needed to be = filled.

A woman persisted in inviting him to an FGBMFI = meeting.=20 The day he came, he accepted an invitation to come to Jesus. From that = day on,=20 he has been going around the world telling people about Jesus as an = ambassador=20 for Christ.

-- Sir Lionel Luckhoo.

The Ambassador's Role in the=20 Fellowship

"Being an ambassador in the secular world has = parallels=20 in the spiritual world" said Sir Lionel Luckhoo, who has had the = unprecedented=20 distinction of being an ambassador from two sovereign countries=20 simultaneously.

To become an ambassador, one must be accredited = to the=20 country he will represent. Then he must receive certification by the = head of=20 state. Only when these criteria are met may a person have conferred on = him the=20 privileges of an ambassador. "Jesus was accredited by signs, wonders and = miracles" affirmed Sir Lionel, referring to Acts 2:22. "You'll see this = same=20 thing happening in the Fellowship" he added "because we are ambassadors = for=20 Jesus."

In the secular definition, Sir Lionel was = granted=20 diplomatic power that extended to his entire family. "We need to claim = the=20 promises of God as His ambassadors" he said, referring to the spiritual=20 parallel. "And we can claim that all our relatives will be saved." When = Sir=20 Lionel prayed for salvation for his entire family, God answered, and it = came to=20 pass!

As ambassadors, we have delegated authority, = explained=20 Sir Lionel. "Here's an example: God is head of us, the body" he began. = "He has=20 delegated authority to us. It's like wherever we go in ministry He = goes." (John=20 13:20)

"God is your source, not man" said Sir Lionel. = "Lay your=20 hands on the sick, and they shall recover! Don't neglect going out and = doing=20 Jesus' work" he continued. "Take up your cross and follow Jesus. He = wants you as=20 an ambassador to share the Good News. Time is short -- the Master = returns at any=20 moment!"

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