“Horned” man must pay wife’s lover $10,000 for stabbing him
..the victim said he has forgiven his attacker
$10,000 richer. Victim Michael Bertie leaves the San Fernando High Court after sentence was passed on the man who stabbed him.
A TRUCKDRIVER who stabbed his wife’s lover with a piece of steel, must pay the man $10,000, the court has ruled.
Suresh Sirjusingh offered a tearful apology to the victim Michael Bertie who said he had since found God and forgiven his attacker.
Sirjusingh, 45, was before Justice Malcolm Holdip in the San Fernando Second Criminal Court charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. A jury was empaneled for the trial but following a proposal by the State, Sirjusingh entered a guilty plea.
Evidence given by the State attorney Shabaana Shah was that on November 11 2006 between 7p.m. and 8 p.m. Michael Bertie was at Library Corner San Fernando waiting on a taxi with the woman when Sirjusingh approached and began cursing. He told Bertie, “I ketch yuh tonight. I will kill yuh (expletive).”
Bertie told Sirjusingh to behave himself but Sirjusingh pulled out a seven inch, V-shaped piece of steel and stabbed Bertie in his chest and left shoulder. Bertie fell to the ground and, Shah said, Sirjusingh “climbed over the victim and continued to stab his left shoulder, left hand and the left side of his face.”
Sijrusingh walked away. The victim was bleeding profusely and felt weak. The ambulance took Bertie to the San Fernando General Hospital where he spent two weeks. The following day corporal Keston Dublin went to the hospital and saw Sirjusingh arguing loudly. He was pointed out by his common law wife and Dublin told Sirjusingh of the report made. Sirjusingh remained silent. He was later charged.
Defence attorney Marissa Bubb said her client, 45 of South Oropouche was a father of three who worked as a truck driver at a hardware.
She said, “The circumstances which led to the incident were such that the accused and victim were involved in a love triangle with (woman) who at the time was the common law wife of the prisoner but also involved in a relationship with the victim.”
She said that the situation gave rise to conflict and Sirjusingh acted in haste and made a decision unacceptable in society. Bubb said too often people resorted to .
She said that he had accepted the error of his ways and since 2006 had not found himself back before any court. She said over the years Sirjusingh had spent three years and three months on remand.
Shah cited the seriousness of the offence and its prevalence. She also said that a weapon was used to inflict the injuries and attack was in a public place. “It was a quick, direct and persistent attack … People in this country are losing their lives too easily … It is happening too much in this country … Conflicts could be dealt with in other ways.”
In a victim impact statement Bertie said while he was fearful months after the attack he had since settled down and moved past the situation. “He has involved himself in prayer and work and moved on. He has forgiven Sijrjusingh for what happened,” Shah said.
Judge: Talk it out
Holdip noted that wounding with intent had since been upgraded to murder. He said the previous day he heard the Prime Minister say that of the 48 murders within the month of January, one third of them came out of domestic circumstance. He said such situations where violence was used instead merited for “tow bid people to sit down and talk it out.”
He said the maximum sentence for the offence Sirjusingh faced was 15 years in prison.
After considering the submissions made by the State and defence attorneys, Holdip sentenced Sirjusingh to five years hard labour. He however said Sirjusingh was entitled to a one-third discount for his guilty plea and for the time he had already spent in custody.
He placed Sirjusingh on a $5,000 bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for two years. Should he breach the bond he will have to return to court to be sentence. Sirjusingh was also ordered to pay Bertie $10,000 compensation by March 24. Holdip also ordered that Sirjusingh register with the Adulty Literacy Tutors Association (ALTA).