Taxi driver gets four years for robbing passenger at gunpoint

A taxi driver who admitted robbing his passenger at gunpoint was yesterday sentenced to four years imprisonment after he appeared before acting Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

Ishmael Stewart, a taxi driver who resides at Norton Street, changed his not guilty plea to “guilty”.

In handing down the sentence to the accused, the acting chief magistrate took into consideration both mitigating and aggravating circumstances.

In that light she noted that the accused is 28 years old and is the father of four minor children. She added that he is also the sole bread winner of his home and he had no previous convictions.

In assessing the aggravating circumstances the magistrate took into consideration the prevalence of the offence, the use of a weapon in the commission of the offence and the fact that the court needs to send a strong message to would-be offenders.

In addition, it was noted that the accused tried to escape shortly after being taken into police custody, and he is old enough to know the consequences of his action.

The court was told that Stewart, on July 1 at Georgetown, being armed with a gun, robbed Daniel Ramdeen of one cell phone and a quantity of cash to a total value of $107,000.

According to the facts presented to the court on July 8 when the man made his first appearance, Police Corporal Venetta Pindar said that on the day in question, the virtual complainant (VC) had hired the defendant to take him to Sophia and during the journey the accused pulled out a handgun and demanded the articles mentioned in the charge.

According to Pindar, the VC alerted a mobile police patrol which stopped and searched the defendant upon whose person the articles were found.

The court then heard that the accused ran away but his escape bid was foiled when the lawmen shot him in the arm. He was later taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was treated and later arrested and charged.

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