Andy Boodram was yesterday handed a life sentence by Justice Navindra Singh after being found guilty by a jury of chopping his neighbour, who had asked him to turn down the volume of the music he was playing.
Boodram, 32, a father of three, appeared visibly shocked as did his relatives when the judge announced the sentence.
Given a chance to speak, Boodram called ‘Boy,’ said he was in a fight with the complainant, Deonarine Persaud, called ‘Anil,’ but maintained that he never chopped him.
“It was a fight, but I didn’t chop Anil,” the convict said, while casting the blame on someone else, whom he claimed to have also been a part of the fight.
Boodram had been indicted for attempted murder and the jury found him not guilty by a proportion of 11 to 1. It was on the alternative count of felonious wounding that he was however, convicted by a proportion of 10 to 2. The jury found him guilty of wounding Persaud on September 24th, 2011, with intent to maim, disfigure, disable or cause him serious bodily harm.
Defence attorney George Thomas had begged the court for the most minimum of sentences, advancing that his client had no previous conviction.
For her part, however, Prosecutor Abigail Gibbs advanced that having been found guilty by his peers, Boodram needed to pay the full consequences of his actions.
She asked the court to consider the effect the injuries have had on the complainant, while highlighting the several surgeries he has had to undergo and the extent of those operations.
Of concern to the prosecutor also was the fact that Boodram used a cutlass to inflict the injuries. She impressed upon the court that the type of weapon used needed to be considered as well.
Before imposing the sentence, Justice Singh asked Boodram whether he was maintaining that it was someone else who had chopped the complainant, to which he responded in the affirmative.
Thereafter, the judge noted that for the offence committed, the law provides for life imprisonment and flogging.
“But I will not sentence you to flogging. I will sentence you to life imprisonment,” the judge declared.
“That is the sentence of the court,” Justice Singh told the shocked Boodram.
In his testimony, Persaud had recalled being chopped several times by Boodram, whom he had asked to lower his music as his sick infant son had been sleeping at the time.
Despite repeated appeals, however, the witness said Boodram, who hurled a series of expletives at him and refused to lower the volume of the music.
Persaud had told the court that as he stood conversing with a friend in front of his yard, he heard the friend exclaim, “Anil run! Boy coming with a cutlass!”
He said he did not run at that time and just as he turned towards the direction from which his attacker was coming, he encountered the man swinging a cutlass in front of him.
In the midst of inflicting numerous broadsides, Persaud said that Boodram chopped him twice on the head and once to his left thumb as he tried to bar the chops. He showed the court the scars which he said were the result of the attack.
Persaud said he fell to the ground and remembered clearly seeing the accused standing over, and still broadsiding him, moments before losing consciousness. He later woke in the Georgetown Public Hospital.
He recalled being hospitalised for some six months, during which time he had to undergo several surgeries and had to do numerous follow-up treatments.
The defence contended, however, that it was Boodram who was attacked by Persaud and another person.
According to Thomas, the other person in whose company Persaud was at the time, had been wielding the cutlass at Boodram but it missed and connected with Persaud instead, resulting in the injuries he sustained.
Under cross-examination, the complainant disagreed with counsel’s suggestion that it was a fight and that he was injured during a scuffle.
He also disagreed with Thomas’ suggestion that he was armed and that he was “making up the story” maintaining that it was Boodram who had chopped him.