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Sunday 26 May 2019
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100 hrs’ community service for road-rage accused

A MAN charged with offences arising from road rage confessed to a magistrate yesterday that he confronted the other driver.

That driver was a policeman. Yesterday, Brandon Samlal of Gasparillo told the magistrate he had merely wanted to speak to him.

Magistrate Alicia Chankar asked Samlal, 28, “You think the police officer came out his car with his firearm to talk to you?”

Samlal pleaded guilty in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court to dangerous driving, possession of a weapon and common assault.

Police prosecutor Cleyon Seedan said that on August 30, 2018, Sgt Chanardath Jhilmit was driving on the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway when, on reaching the Brian Lara stadium, he overtook a truck at 50 kilometres per hour. Samlal, the prosecutor said, drove up behind him, very close to his bumper. He was unwilling to wait, so he went into the left lane and pulled in front of Jhilmit’s car.

Jhilmit, who is a prosecutor in the magistrates’ court, slowed his car, Seedan said, but Samlal did so too. When Jilmit tried to overtake him, he sped off. But then he pulled in front of the police officer’s car again, only to speed off again when Jhilmit once more tried to overtake.

Chankar heard from Seedan how a truck loaded with logs was ahead and Jhilmit tried to overtake, but Samlal moved into the right lane as well.

“Your worship, the defendant slowed down and started applying his brakes about four times at the side of the truck, almost causing the complainant to almost collide with his (the defendant’s) vehicle,” Seedan said.

Jhilmit, whose family were in the car, had to pull onto the shoulder, from where he drove towards Debe village. He turned into Gandhi village, then tried to drive into Suchit Trace. But when he was about to do so, Seedan said, Samlal suddenly drove in front of him and blocked his car. The court heard that Samlal got out of his car with a baton and confronted Jhilmit, who drew his service revolver. Attorney Anand Misir pleaded for mercy, saying Samlal has been attending anger-management counselling, which he will not give up in the near future.

Chankar asked, “So what you were planning to do with the baton? The man had his family with him.” Samlal replied, “Was going to talk to him.”

Chankar asked “You think he was coming out his vehicle to talk to you with his firearm?”

She ordered Samlal to do 100 hours of community service, which he is to start next week Tuesday and complete by July 31.

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