No evidence that led accused was racing
-Yaw tells Chancellor, CJ
Stabroek News
February 14, 2002

The prosecution led no evidence that the accused had been racing, in the causing death by dangerous driving case brought against Andrew Persaud, who was convicted and fined $75,000 by Magistrate, Fitzgerald Yaw last month.

This was the explanation given to the Chancellor of the Judiciary, Desiree Bernard and Chief Justice Carl Singh when they interviewed Yaw recently. Yaw's decision has been widely criticised and has been the subject of several letters to the Stabroek News expressing outrage at the sentence.

Justice Bernard told Stabroek News that according to Yaw, no evidence had been led by the police to prove the allegation that the accused was racing at the time his car collided with Mahendranuth Singh and Robin Ramotar, on Vlissengen Road on October 19, 1999.

Also, according to Chancellor Bernard, Yaw convicted Persaud on the evidence he gave in court that in swerving he collided with Singh and Ramotar. About the $75,000 fine, Yaw explained to the Chancellor and Chief Justice that though the maximum fine was $100,000, he had exercised his discretion in imposing the $75,000 fine based on the evidence before him.

The $75,000 fine imposed by Yaw was the second such judgment by him that caused public outrage. The first was the $15,000 fine he imposed in October on Orin Fraser, who was also convicted of causing the death of Walter Moses as a result of dangerous driving.

In the recent reassignment of magistrates, Yaw was transferred to the court dealing with municipal matters and Magistrate Cecil Sullivan who has been transferred from Essequibo to Georgetown has taken his place in the Traffic Court.