Man gets four years for aggravated robbery of girl, 9
A 42-year-old Sophia man received scornful glances from those gathered in the courtroom
of Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry yesterday after he pleaded guilty to savagely beating a 9-year-old girl during the course of a robbery.
Puran Totaram, of Sophia, a father of two, robbed the nine-year-old girl (whose name was given) of a pair of gold earrings valued at $4000. The incident occurred on March 9 at Sophia.
The police said that before or after the crime, Totaram used personal violence against the child causing her to receive serious injuries. Totaram pleaded guilty to the charge.
The facts stated that on the day in question around 15:00 hours in Sophia, the accused walked up to the young girl and attempted to remove her earrings. The girl tried to resist the man’s attack but Totaman resorted to using violence against the child.
Totaram cuffed the minor several times in the face. He then made good his escape. The child was later taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital by public spirited citizens. She received medical attention and was admitted. The prosecutor continued that the defendant gave a caution statement to the police where he admitted to committing the offence.
Totaram was represented by Attorney Mohammed Zafar, who was obviously caught off guard when the man admitted to the offence. Zafar attempted to steer the court away from the defendant’s plea, but Totaram seemed bent on relating his guilt to the court. After much back and forth between Zafar and his client, the lawyer was made to sit down since Totaram refused to change his plea.
Totaram pleaded feverishly with the court. He blamed it all on alcohol and claimed that he was not conscious of what he was doing. When asked, the defendant admitted that the police’s information was true.
Zafar again intervened on his client’s behalf to relate information that he said the court should take into consideration while handing down the sentence. The lawyer said that Totaram is a family man who had no previous convictions. He, however, said that his client was charged in 1993 for a murder that took place during a fight. He was freed on that charge.
Zafar also claimed that the man worked at LBI Estate. At that point the child’s father intervened and claimed that Totaram was unemployed and was a nuisance. The father fought hard to hold back tears in relating what he knew about the matter.
He said that Totaram had kidnapped his daughter who was heading to her Industry home and took her to Sophia some two and a half kilometers away. He also attempted to describe the manner in which his daughter was found, but since that evidence was not before the court, his explanation was cut short.
The court had also collected a medical report from the child’s father which he received from the hospital. The medical was read out and the doctor’s account proved that the child was brutally attacked having received several types of injuries that included abrasions to the neck, which the court said indicated that the child was choked. She also received small lacerations on the face, swelling and black and blue marks.
The father also gave the court a picture of the child two weeks after the attack. The gathering gasped at the image when it was raised up for the defendant to witness. The photograph told the story for itself and some in court were heard saying that if that was two weeks after, then they did not wish to see photographs of the girl right after the incident.
The Magistrate then read out the factors that led to Totaram’s sentencing. Mitigating factors were that the man saved the court time and admitted his guilt among other things. The aggravating factors related to the seriousness and prevalence of the offence. The court also said that the use of alcohol could not be used as an explanation for the defendant’s action, but it in fact contributed to his behavior, since the alcohol was voluntarily consumed. The degree of violence used against the child was also taken into consideration.
Totaram was subsequently sentenced to four years imprisonment.