Truck driver Roopnarine Hardiwar, who was on trial for causing the incident at Pearl, East Bank Demerara that left a pedal cyclist dead in 2014, was yesterday found guilty and sentenced to three years in jail.
Hardiwar, 28, was charged with driving motor vehicle GPP 9557 on November 15, 2014 in a manner dangerous to the public and causing the death of Ramdoolar Dhanraj, called ‘Eddie.’
When Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan handed down her ruling yesterday in a Georgetown court, it was noted that speed was the main cause of the incident. She said that although there were no eyewitnesses, there was sufficient evidence to show that Hardiwar was speeding.
The magistrate said the court was satisfied that the police photographs, which showed the skid marks on the road that were left by the truck Hardiwar was driving, indicated that he was speeding when he pulled brakes and collided with the deceased. She said that Hardiwar did drive his vehicle in a dangerous manner, thereby causing the death of the deceased. She also noted that the post-mortem examination that was done on the victim showed that the injuries that he had received were consistent with that of a motor vehicular accident. The magistrate did acknowledge that the testimonies of some of the eyewitness that were produced by the prosecution were inconsistent and were quickly discredited by the defence.
However, she added that she did not believe Hardiwar, who had been called to lead a defence, when he said he was driving with caution had taken a turn when the deceased rode into his path.
According to Hardiwar, he applied the brakes and blew his horn but the pedal cyclist kept going, resulting in a collision. He stated that the cyclist collided with his side of the vehicle, causing him to lose control and to end up in a nearby trench.
After the magistrate told the accused that the court had found him guilty as charged, his lawyer, Haymant Ramdhani, begged the court to administer a light sentence since the man is a husband, a father to a small family and a first time offender. He said too that Hardiwar apologises to the deceased’s family from the bottom of his heart.
Ramdhani also made a bail application on behalf of his client but it was declined by the chief magistrate, who subsequently sentenced Hardiwar to three years in prison.