Biker sentenced to 12 months over death of pillion rider

Melroy Barnwell

A city court yesterday sentenced Melroy Barnwell to 12 months in jail after finding him guilty of causing the death of his pillion rider in an accident that occurred in June last year.

However, Barnwell was granted his release on $500,000 bail pending an appeal of the sentence, which was handed down by trial magistrate Fabayo Azore.

The charge against Barnwell stated that on June 20, 2016, at Houston Public Road, he rode a motorcycle in a manner dangerous to the public, thereby causing the death of Colette Josiah.

Magistrate Azore found Barnwell guilty of the crime on Monday, after taking into consideration all of the evidence led by the prosecution.

In handing down the 12-month sentence yesterday, she took into consideration the fact that mother of the deceased forgave the defendant and didn’t want to see Barnwell imprisoned.

Subsequent to the magistrate’s ruling, Barnwell’s lawyer, Nigel Hughes, gave the court notice of his intention to appeal.

The matter was later recalled and the court was made aware of the filed appeal.

Magistrate Azore later granted the accused his release on $500,000 bail pending appeal.

On the day of the accident, Barnwell was proceeding south on the western side of the eastern carriageway of the Houston Public Road.

It was alleged that he was travelling at a fast pace and overtook a long line of traffic when he collided with a car, PTT 6421, which was proceeding in the opposite lane. Barnwell attempted to swerve and lost control, causing him to collide with the vehicle.

As a result, both Barnwell and Josiah were flung off the motorcycle and suffered injuries. They were later rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where Josiah passed away while receiving treatment. A post-mortem report indicated that Josiah suffered a fractured spine, a ruptured liver, a ruptured spleen, a fractured hip and fractured ribs.

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