Alleged unlicensed motorcyclist charged with causing death

Last Updated on Friday, 7 October 2016, 23:17 by Denis Chabrol

A 27-year-old man on Friday appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court for causing the death of a woman by dangerous driving, along with four other related charges.

It is alleged that on June 20,2016  at Houston Public Road, Melroy Barnwell drove motorcycle CG 8485 in a manner that was dangerous, thereby causing the death of Paulette Josiah. Barnwell has also been charged with being an unlicensed driver, and for driving a motorcycle that was uninsured, un-certified and unlicensed, all on the same date and in the same vicinity.

The defendant pleaded guilty with explanation to the charge of dangerous driving which caused a death, but Chief Magistrate Ann Mc Lennan changed plea to not guilty, after hearing the explanation. In his defense, Barnwell told the magistrate that he was not to be blamed since he was in the right lane and not the wrong one as police had stated.

To the other four charges, the accused pleaded not guilty.

In relating the facts, Police Prosecutor Deniro Jones said that at around 8:15 hours, the defendant, who was the driver of the motorcycle in question, was proceeding south at a very fast rate on the western side on the eastern Houston public road. The court heard that Barnwell was overtaking a long line of traffic, when he was confronted by motor vehicle PTT 6421 which was proceeding in the opposite direction in the same lane. In an attempt to avoid a collision, he swerved and lost control and still collided into said vehicle. As a result, both the defendant and Josiah received injuries.

They were both taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where Josiah succumbed to her injuries while receiving medical attention.

A post mortem examination conducted on the deceased confirmed the cause of death to be multiple injuries; including fractured spine, ruptured liver, ruptured spleen, fractured hip, and haemothorax. Further investigations were carried out and the defendant was arrested and charged.

Jones also stated that on same day the defendant was asked to provide documents for the motorcycle but never did. In response to this, Barnwell told the court that the police never asked him for the documents which are with the owner of the bike.

The Prosecutor did not object to bail, but asked for it to be in a substantial amount. The defendant was granted bail in the sum of GYD$500,000 and fined GYD$30,000 each for driving without license and for driving an unlicensed vehicle. Failure to pay the fines could and him in prison for a total of 16 weeks. His next court appearance is scheduled for October 18, 2016.