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3 escape jail for robbery

Victim to get $24,000 compensation

By Alexander Bruzual

Three men have been given a second chance after they escaped jail time and were instead ordered to pay $24,000 in compensation and placed on a $30,000 bond at the close of a 2005 robbery case.

Rishi Maharaj, Suresh Ramnath and Anneurde Sooknanan all reappeared on March 28 before Justice Devan Rampersad in the Port of Spain Assizes for sentencing in the incident.

The three men were represented by attorney Ryan Ramcharan, while the State was represented by prosecutor Brent Winter.

When the matter was called, the court was informed the victim had previously stated he “wanted to put the entire incident behind him” and as such he did not want the matter to proceed further.

The court was also informed the victim had indicated he was willing to accept a compensation order of $24,000 for the damages he had received. However, he also wanted to know from his attackers why he was assaulted in such a serious manner.

Justice Rampersad agreed with compensation, telling the three men: “In your hearts, you have to have some sense of gratitude towards the virtual complainant for adopting this cause of action. This is because you were spared a jail term because of his decision.”

He then ordered the compensation and placed all three men on a bond for one year, valued at $30,000. “You know the consequences that you will face if you breach that bond. In default you will be brought back and resentenced,” he said.

The judge also commended the actions of three policemen—PC Sheppard, Cpl Salick, and PC Ishmael—whose swift response was crucial to the arrest of the three men mere moments after the robbery took place. 

“I will also award the three officers $500 each for their distinguished service in apprehending the suspects and for detecting the crime. This is a small token of gratitude which signifies the quality which these officers have demonstrated in their duties,” Rampersad said.

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