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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Brothers found guilty of assaulting man, son
Two brothers, along with another man, have been found guilty of kidnapping their uncle and assaulting his teenage son after a drinking binge. Rishi Chattergoon, 34, his brother Sterling, 37, and Rishi Boodoo, 27, an excavator operator, will be sentenced on February 14. They are each now on $50,000 bail. The three were warned by Justice Althea Alexis-Windsor to stay 100 feet away from the victims when they appeared before her on Tuesday.
“Do not harasss, taunt them, speak to them,” she warned. The three went on trial last Monday in the San Fernando Fourth Assizes, charged with kidnapping and committing common assault on Seedath Chattergoon. Rishi Boodoo was also charged with committing common assault on Seedath’s 14-year-old son Govindra. The incident took place at Chattergoon’s home at Gopie Trace, Penal, on February 26, 2005.
The jury deliberated for two-and-a-half hours before returning with guilty verdicts. The State’s case, led by Trevor Jones, was that Seedath, his two nephews Rishi Chattergoon and Sterling, and Rishi Boodoo went bar-hopping and liming from about 5 pm that day. They drank three bottles of White Oak rum. Later on there was an altercation at Seedath’s house and Rishi Boodoo began assaulting Seedath’s son.
Seedath intervened and was beaten by all three accused, who shoved him into the back seat of his car. They took him for a long drive before throwing him out along the SS Erin Road, Penal, where he fell into a six-foot drain. Asking the magistrate for a non-custodial sentence, their attorney, Subhas Panday, said rum seemed to be at the core of the incident, and it was not a case where the victim was snatched for a ransom. “This really start with rum drinking, this was the source of all the problems,” Panday said.
Boodoo, who was 18 at the time, has stopped drinking, severed ties with the other accused and has no previous convictions or pending matters, Panday said. Sterling Chattergoon, Panday said, had three previous convictions and seven pending matters, while his brother Rishi has ten pending matters. He said Rishi was the only one who still lived in the area—five feet from the victim’s home.
After Jones expressed concern about the accused interfering with the victims, Panday said Rishi Chattergoon had promised to move out of the area and live with Sterling at Debe. Panday asked for a probation officer’s report to assist the court in sentencing. The magistrate adjourned the matter to February 14 to allow the probation officer time to prepare the report.
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