Appeal Court grants taxi driver’s killer reduction in 30-year sentence

Naresh Boodhoo

Naresh Boodhoo, who in 2012 pleaded guilty to killing female taxi driver Seeraji Singh, had his 30-year prison sentence reduced by the Guyana Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

Boodhoo and Anandram Dhanraj, who were both 24 years old at the time, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Boodhoo later appealed his sentence.

The court, in its judgment, allowed the appeal and deducted the term of five years, three months and 12 days from the sentence of 30 years that was imposed by the High Court. Boodhoo and Dhanraj had pleaded guilty to shooting Singh in 2006, while a third man who was charged along with them, Hemraj Boodhwah, was freed earlier in the trial after the court accepted a no-case submission filed on his behalf.

Seerajie Singh

Justice Roxane George, who had presided over the trial, had initially imposed a 40-year sentence but reduced it to 30 years owing to various mitigating factors that were taken into account.

Probation reports for the two accused had revealed that residents in the community were fearful of then returning to the area since they were of disreputable character and were in the habit of consuming alcohol. The reports stated that Boodhoo was in the habit of using illegal substances, while Dhanraj was described as abusive and disrespectful.

Boodhoo, prior to sentencing, made a brief statement to the court in which he expressed remorse  for what had happened and apologised to the deceased’s family for his actions. He also asked the court to be lenient in sentencing him.

Singh was shot in the mouth by two carjackers on the night of February 10th, 2006, at the Ogle Airstrip Road, after she received a call from a nearby restaurant to make a pick up. She died while receiving medical attention at the public hospital in the city.

 

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