Keith Hollingsworth sat and shook his head repeatedly as Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman pointed out that he fell below the standards of a competent driver, before sentencing him to four years and six months imprisonment after finding him guilty on a causing death by dangerous driving charge.
Hollingsworth, 47, a father of eight, of Lot 88 Blueberry Hill, Wismar, Linden, and Ron Walker, 25, of Lot 77 Kuru Kuru, Soesdyke Linden/Highway, were on trial for causing the death of Samsoonisha Batulan.
It was alleged that on August 21, 2017 at Diamond, East Bank Demerara, they drove motor vehicles GDD 9817 and PJJ 8918, respectively, in a manner dangerous to the public, causing the death of Batulan.
However, at the conclusion of their trial yesterday, Hollingsworth was convicted of the offence, while Walker walked free. In passing sentence, Magistrate Latchman told Hollingsworth that he disregarded the five Cs in driving– care, courtesy, consideration, caution and commonsense.
After considering the fact that a life was lost, the need to preserve human resources, the fact that other vehicles were involved and Hollingsworth endangered the lives of other road users, Magistrate Latchman imposed the custodial sentence. The Magistrate stressed that Hollingsworth drove away after the accident, and had to be stopped by police at a road block.
On the day in question at around 09:00hrs, Hollingsworth was proceeding in front of Walker’s vehicle, a sand truck, along the western carriageway of the road. During that time, Batulan had just disembarked motor vehicle, PRR 7589, in the vicinity of the Diamond Diagnostic Centre.
As that vehicle moved off, Hollingsworth overtook the vehicle, and the sand truck slammed into another vehicle causing it to swerve and hit Batulan. The woman was picked up and rushed to the above mentioned hospital where she was pronounced dead.
During a plea in mitigation, Attorney-at-Law Tiffany Jeffrey asked the court to temper justice with mercy. She highlighted that her client has been a driver for decades, and was never involved in any accident of this magnitude. The lawyer added that her client has eight children and has no antecedents.
It was noted by Magistrate Latchman that Walker was caught between “a rock and a hard place.” Both of the men had been out on $200,000 bail pending trial.
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