By Kizzy Coleman
Juliano Seunarine, the driver who was charged with causing the death of Christobel Hughes, the mother of former Alliance For Change (AFC) Chairman, Attorney Nigel Hughes, was on Monday jailed for four years.
The sentence was handed down by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan following the conclusion of the trial at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
When he was charged in August 2015, Seunarine pleaded not guilty to the charge, which stated that on August 15, 2015 at Pike and Lamaha Streets, Kitty, Georgetown, he drove motor pick-up PPP 4641 in a dangerous manner to the public thereby causing the death of Hughes.
In handing down her decision, Magistrate McLennan explained that at the time of the accident, the defendant, based on evidence presented, was under the influence of alcohol. The Magistrate stated that the Court has concluded that Hughes died as a result of the accident.
As such, she added, the court is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the offence.
McLennan added that the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The defence in a plea of mitigation petitioned for leniency, pointing out that the defendant, who is 28 years old, is the sole provider for his family, including an ailing mother.
The Court heard that the defendant since the incident has spent two months in prison while being on remand.
After listening to the defence, Magistrate McLennan sentenced Seunarine to spend four years in prison. This decision was met with a loud outburst from his family and relatives who were present in court and began crying.
According to reports, on the day in question around 23:15h, the defendant drove motor vehicle PPP 4641 on Pike Street, and, as he approached Lamaha Street, he failed to stop, colliding with motor vehicle PMM 6763.
As a result of the impact, Hughes received multiple injuries to her body and died while being rushed to the hospital.
A breathalyser test was conducted on Seunarine by Police Officers, which revealed that his alcohol level was 161 micrograms when the legal limit is 35.