TWO men were yesterday sentenced to a total of 134 years in prison for the kidnapping, robbery with violence and attempted murder of a Diego Martin woman almost eight years ago.
In passing sentence, Justice Hayden St Clair-Douglas described the crime as "cold-blooded without any regard for human life".
Linda Vandana Ali was abducted outside her Diamond Vale home on May 29, 2005 and taken to Blue Basin where she was shot in the face and thrown in the bushes. The accused then set her car afire.
Ali's relatives were ordered to pay an $8,000 ransom for her safe return. Ali was later found bleeding by police officers.
On December 18 last year, Isaac Estrada and Jemerley Rolle were found guilty by a nine-member jury of kidnapping, attempted murder, robbery with violence and malicious damage to property.
The trial was heard in the Sixth Criminal Assizes at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain.
Yesterday, they were each ordered to serve 25 years with hard labour for the offence of attempted murder, 30 years with hard labour for the offence of kidnapping, ten years with hard labour for the offence of robbery with violence and two years with hard labour for the offence of malicious damage to property.
St Clair-Douglas ordered that the sentences run concurrently and that the time spent in custody awaiting trial, amounting to seven years and nine months, be deducted from the sentences passed. He said this was in keeping with a recent Court of Appeal ruling.
In relation to Rolle, St Clair-Douglas said no remorse had been shown for his actions. A probation officer who interviewed Rolle said he was at risk of re-offending.
The court said attempts were also made to sully the name of the witnesses in the matter. It was suggested to one police officer that he stole money which was allegedly found on Rolle when he was arrested about 12 hours after the incident.
The complainant, Sgt David Watson, had testified that while searching Rolle, $3,900 in cash and Ali's cellular phone were found. A .38 revolver also was found in Estrada's pocket, Watson said.
It was also put to another officer under cross-examination that Rolle and Estrada were paraded before Ali after they were arrested and before an identification parade was held.
The judge said Rolle and Estrada declined to make those accusations themselves during the course of giving their evidence.
He said, in determining what sentence should be passed, he considered the physical and psychological trauma suffered by Ali during and after her ordeal. The prevalence at the time of kidnapping for ransom was also taken into account.
Leading evidence on behalf of the State was attorney Randall Hector, while the men were represented by attorney Ian Brooks.