Brothers guilty of beating, kidnapping uncle

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin

TWO brothers were yesterday found guilty of assaulting and kidnapping their uncle, with whom they had spent the evening drinking alcohol, more than eight years ago.

Rishi and Sterling Chattergoon were jointly charged with their friend Rishi Boodoo with kidnapping and committing two acts of common assault against Seedath Chattergoon.

Boodoo also faced a charge of common assault against Seedath Chattergoon’s son, Govindra, who was 14 years old at the time.

Defence attorney Subhas Panday, in recapping the circumstances, said it all started with rum drinking which, he said, was at the source of the problem.

It was the State’s case, as led by attorney Trevor Jones, that around 5 p.m. on February 26, 2005, the four started liming and drinking.

When they arrived at Seedath Chat­tergoon’s Gopee Trace, Penal, home around 11.30 p.m., there was an altercation with Boodoo and Govindra Chattergoon.

Seedath Chattergoon intervened and was assaulted by the three men who then threw him into the back seat of his car and drove off.

Along the SS Erin Road, Chattergoon was thrown from the car into a six-foot drain.

Jones called five witnesses in the case, including three police officers and Seedath Chattergoon and his son.

All three defendants testified during their trial.

They admitted they had been drinking with Chattergoon but denied they had committed the acts against him.

The jury took two and a half hours to return the guilty verdicts yesterday.

Following the guilty verdicts before the San Fernando Third Criminal Court, Justice Althea Alexis-

Wind­­sor said she needed reports from a probation officer before she could pass sentence on the men.

Both Jones and Panday agreed the reports will be helpful. But Panday asked that his clients be given non-custodial sentences.

In mitigating on their behalf, Pan­day told the court Boodoo, 27, an excavator operator, had stopped associating with the two brothers and chef Sterling Chattergoon, 37, had since moved out of the immediate area.

Panday, who was instructed by attorney Mickela Panday, said mason Rishi Chattergoon, 34, had ten pending matters before the court and had one conviction for robbery with violence, 

Sterling Chattergoon, he said, had seven pending matters and four convictions, including common assault, burglary, possession of marijuana, and obscene language.

The men will continue on their $50,000 bail, but the judge imposed conditions that there be no communication with the victim and they are to stay 100 feet away from him.

She said this was particularly for Rishi Chattergoon, who lived the closest to Seedath Chattergoon.

The judge said the matter had only just come to an end and passions, feelings and emotions will be high, therefore, the men should not speak to the victim at all.

The matter was adjourned to February 14, 2014.

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