Police Constable Rawle Welcome, a rank attached to the Tactical Services Unit (TSU), was yesterday fined a total of $270,000 after pleading guilty to a series of traffic offences. The law enforcement officer appeared before Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
Welcome, 25, of 268 East Ruimveldt Housing Scheme, Georgetown, pleaded guilty to six traffic offences that stemmed from an accident which occurred on Mother’s Day at Vlissengen Road, Georgetown.
According to facts presented by Police Prosecutor Arvin Moore, on Sunday, May 13, Welcome was riding motorcycle CH 1862, with a pillion rider, proceeding south on the eastern carriageway of Vlissengen Road. It was revealed that the police rank lost control of the motorcycle and collided with the right side rear view mirror of motor jeep PWW 485, which was proceeding in the said direction.
As a result of the collision, both persons fell off the motorcycle and onto the roadway, receiving injuries. Damage was caused to the motor jeep.
The accident was reported to the Kitty Police Station and investigations were conducted which revealed that Welcome had breached a series of traffic laws. It was determined that Welcome was riding the motorcycle when he did not have a driver’s licence; riding the motorcycle without safety helmets; riding an uninsured motorcycle; riding an unlicenced motorcycle and riding an uncertified motorcycle. Investigations also disclosed that Welcome was riding in a manner dangerous to the public.
An unrepresented Welcome was charged for all six of the above mentioned offences to which he pleaded guilty, and was in turn, ordered to pay fines.
As it relates to the dangerous driving charge, Welcome was fined $70,000. On the charge of riding an unlicenced motorcycle, he was fined $40,000. He was further fined $40,000 for riding an uninsured motorcycle and another $40,000 for riding an uncertified motorcycle. On the charge of driving a motorcycle without being the holder of a driver’s licence he was further fined $40,000. And for riding without safety helmets, he was fined 40,000.
Each fine attracts a default term of imprisonment of 14 days, except for the dangerous driving charge which attracts a default term of imprisonment of six months. This means that failure to pay the fines will see the cop spending some time behind bars.
During the court hearing, Magistrate Latchman told Welcome that as a law enforcement officer he “ought to know better.” She further issued a stern warning to the police officer by telling him, “Let me warn you that you must never do this again.”
In arriving at an appropriate sentence for Welcome, Magistrate Latchman noted that she tempered justice with mercy. According to Latchman, she took into consideration the prevalence of the dangerous driving offence and the need to prohibit others from breaking the law. The Magistrate said she also took into consideration the fact that the pillion rider sustained injuries, and also, Welcome’s early guilty plea.
Welcome acknowledged the Magistrate’s warning.
At the end of the court proceeding, Welcome was handcuffed and escorted to the prisoner’s holding area.
Welcome had appeared in court during the morning session when he pleaded guilty to the charges. However, Magistrate Latchman ordered that he be kept in police custody until sentencing, which was deferred to the afternoon session. (Feona Morrison)
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