These sentences are unacceptable
Stabroek News
January 18, 2002

Dear Editor,

I rubbed my eyes in disbelief, and opened them again! "Kingston man fined $75,000 for two driving deaths" (SN 12/01/02). What was Magistrate Fitzgerald Yaw thinking when he fined Andrew Persaud of 30 Fort Street Kingston, a paltry $75,000 for causing the deaths of Mahendranauth Singh and Robin Ramotar, while drag racing with Terry Persaud on Vlissengen Road two years ago? Terry Persaud was acquitted and walked out of the court smiling, according to the SN report.

Doesn't this work out to a price of $37,500. per death? And such a meager sum is but 'chicken feed' to the likes of the two defendants!

I remember only too well the sense of anger and empathy I felt when I read two years ago that two families, both with very young children, had lost their husbands and fathers, for no other reason than the fact that the defendants were so dismissive of other people's safety and so immersed in their own machismo to engage in drag racing along the busy Vlissengen Road.

I've thought of those children growing up without their fathers, innocent young labourers killed in the prime of their lives whilst Andrew Persaud and Terry Persaud can continue their lives relatively unscathed.

Collectively, we need to speak out against such mild sentencing today the death may be someone else's father, brother, sister, or mother; but tomorrow it could be yours or mine.

This is not the first instance in which traffic Magistrate Fitzgerald Yaw has imposed penalties which seem incongruous with the severity of the offence.

Yours faithfully,

Beverly Gonzalves