Pastor fined $100,000 for causing death by dangerous driving

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A Pastor who appeared yesterday before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court was sentenced to a fine of $100,000 for causing death by dangerous driving by
Winston Cramer, 51, of Lot 162 Go Slow Avenue, Tucville, Georgetown, was on January 13 found guilty of a charge which read that on April 10, 2014, he drove his car PKK 7096 on Camp and Quamina streets in a dangerous manner, thereby causing the death of Lennox Allicock.
During the trial, the Court heard that on the day in question, Cramer was driving his car east along Quamina Street, and as he approached the junction with Camp Street, he failed to stop, resulting in a collision with car PNN 3718.
As a result of the collision, Cramer’s car spun and struck Allicock, who had been stationary on the eastern side of Quamina Street. Allicock suffered injuries and was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he subsequently died.
During her ruling, Chief Magistrate McLennan had stated that she was satisfied that the prosecution has successfully made out a prima facie case against the defendant. She further stated that the defence failed to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.
The Chief Magistrate said it was evident that Cramer was almost halfway into the intersection when his vehicle was hit and that it was Cramer’s vehicle that spun and hit the cycle that the deceased was on at the time.
Magistrate McLennan further stated that it was her findings that the defendant had driven his vehicle without due care and he drove in a dangerous manner, which resulted in Allicock’s death.
On Thursday, the Magistrate delivered the sentencing after reviewing the probation report as well as the defence’s mitigation which was made by Attorneys Nigel Hughes and Adrian Thompson.
Hughes related to the Court that the defendant, who is a pastor, is the sole breadwinner of his family. He explained that the defendant’s wife is medically disabled and has been rendered immobile. As such, removal of the defendant from the home in order to imprison him would have devastating effects on his wife and daughter.
He argued that no useful purpose will be served if the defendant is put away due to a moment of poor judgment which he accepts resulted in the death of an individual. He added that the defendant is fully committed to compensating the family in any way possible.

Pastor Winston Cramer
Pastor Winston Cramer

Attorney Thompson also related to the Court that the defendant lectures at the University of Guyana and is useful to society.
The Magistrate then called on Pauline Simon, the common-law wife of the deceased, to relate her position on the offer of compensation.
Simon explained that her 12-year-old daughter was also injured in the accident and the defendant had offered her $500,000 in compensation. This, she stated, is insufficient to cover the loss of her husband who was their sole breadwinner and the medical bills of her daughter who has undergone two surgeries thus far.
She requested a minimum sum of $1,500,000. However, after discussion, an agreement was reached whereby Simon would be compensated $500,000 to cover the medical bills and the defendant would pay her an additional sum for the loss of her husband.
The Magistrate also advised that the woman file a lawsuit at the High Court to ensure that she is fully compensated by the defendant.
Chief Magistrate McLennan then handed down her sentence, telling the Court that she had considered both the probation report as well as the mitigation plea.
She thereby sentenced Cramer to a fine of $100,000 or in default 18 months in prison.
Additionally, the defendant was ordered to pay the $500,000 compensation immediately.

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