APNU+AFC councillor sentenced to 18 months for wounding

A Region Five APNU+AFC councillor who was found guilty of a wounding charge at the Fort Wellington Magistrate’s Court on May 30 was yesterday sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.

Abel Seetaram, 37, of Lot 121 B Woodley Park Village, West Coast Berbice was charged with the felonious wounding of Nateram Rabindranauth, 54, a vendor of Lot 64 A Woodley Park Village, West Coast Berbice on January 21.

Seetaram yesterday arrived at the Fort Wellington Magistrate’s Court minutes after 1 pm in a vehicle with the insignia of the Regional Democratic Council, Region Five.

He stood in the court emotionless while his sentence was read to him.

Magistrate Rhondell Weaver before sentencing Seetaram to 18 months imprisonment noted that while his offences in 2016 were traffic offences, over the years his offences have escalated from minor to serious.

She noted that she took into consideration the nature of the offence and injuries Rabindranauth sustained.

Nateram Rabindranauth,

Magistrate Weaver also stated that Seetaram did not consider the consequences of his actions.

After Seetaram was found guilty at the ending of May, his lawyer Horatio Edmonson, requested that a probation report be compiled on Seetaram’s behalf before the Magistrate handed down her sentence.

According to the probation report read yesterday before the sentencing, Seetaram due to financial struggles dropped out from secondary school before he had the opportunity to complete his CXC examination.

At age 17, Seetaram attended computer classes. The report further noted that Seetaram, a father of six, works as a community development officer in Region Five for the Ministry of Communities with a monthly salary of $126,000.

Seetaram who is also a Regional Democratic Councillor receives a $10,000 month stipend for that post.

The report said that residents from Seetaram’s village are fearful of him since he reportedly abuses his power within the region. The report also stated that residents said they were not surprised that Seetaram was found guilty since he has had several brushes with the law before.

According to the report, in 2016 Seetaram was fined $30,000 for dangerous driving, $15,000 for breach of insurance and $25,000 for being an unlicensed driver.

While in 2017 charges  for abusive language and threatening language were dismissed against him, he  was sentenced to three weeks community service for a third abusive language charge.

Additionally, the report said that Seetaram continued to deny any involvement in wounding his cousin. According to the report, Seetaram has difficulty controlling his anger especially while under the influence of alcohol.

The report also noted that Seetaram is an industrious and hardworking individual.

Edmonson during a plea of mitigation for Seetaram requested that Seetaram be given a non- custodial sentencing since he is the sole breadwinner for this family with his youngest child being just 10 months old. “This case does not warrant a custodial sentencing…Be merciful in the sentencing”, Edmonson asked.

Edmonson noted that his client regretted going out onto the road on the day the incident transpired while he denied that he had any hand in wounding the chips vendor.

According to Edmonson, while a medical certificate was presented to the court that stated that Rabindranauth’s injuries were life threatening, Rabindranauth appeared in court in a “reasonably decent shape”.

A tearful Rabindranauth who was also present at the court told Stabroek News that he felt sorry for Seetaram but that his cousin showed no remorse. “The law is the law”, the man noted.

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