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Public upset with ‘lenient’ sentence in fatal dangerous driving case

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Omotayo Olaogun Morrison

Omotayo Olaogun Morrison

Many are upset with the fine imposed on a Vieux Fort man who admitted to police that he was drinking on the day he struck and killed a medical student on February 8, 2014.

On Monday, Justice Georgis Taylor-Alexander on the count of causing death by dangerous driving, issued a fine to Caleb Antoine of EC$10,000 to be paid within 6 months and in default to serve a 1 year sentence.

“The crime begs for a jail sentence, plus the fine. That’s way too lenient,” Daniel Anatole said.

Another reader said, “Today he is a free man with a 10,000.00 fine…and a free ride home to enjoy his stew pork, sorrel , fruit cake and most likely rum for Christmas, while the victim is six feet under, and a family in total shock at the outcome and a Christmas filled with grief. Wow… just wow!!”

Duane Tucker said, “$10,000 or one year in prison? Is this the maximum penalty for death by dangerous driving? Wow! This country sucks and people will start dishing out their own justice.”

Asked to comment on the situation, the mother of the deceased, Modupe Olaogun, told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that he can understand how the verdict could be upsetting for several people.

“It’s a universal human instinct to correlate a penalty with the value placed upon the object against which there has been transgression. People who are upset probably believe that the fine does not sufficiently place value upon human life. They may reason that in St. Lucian law, the penalty for causing the death of a cow through vehicular collision arising from dangerous driving is a fine,” he said.

Modupe said it appears that people do not want to see the value of human lives reduced to that of a cow or chickens.

“From the people’s perspective, every dangerous driver who gets away with what amounts to “a slap on the wrist” emboldens other potentially dangerous drivers to operate their vehicles as a killing machine that takes people’s lives more than as a means of transportation or pleasure. It seems a good idea to listen to the voice of the people, which, as they say, is “the voice of God.”

Omotayo Morrison was a third trimester student at Spartan Health Sciences University and was walking off the pitch surface of St Jude Road Highway in the residential neighbourhood of Hewanorra Orchard in Vieux Fort with a school mate, Maninder Kaur, around 4:00 am on February 8th, 2014, when a Subaru Legacy driven by Antoine flew off its lane, bounced off the retaining wall of the opposite lane and struck the two students.

The impact threw Morrison108 feet and Kaur 79 feet. Morrison sustained severe head injuries and damage to his brain stem, succumbing to his injuries at 8:05 pm the same day, according to autopsy report.

(7)(2)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

16 comments

  1. I agree. Why is there not a corresponding news report that most people are expressing dissatisfaction with the progress of other cases involving the deaths of St. Lucians? Answer this one Mr. Media. Stop making news!! Report on it!! Justice is Justice, you want us to be dissatisfied with a verdict, while our own people's cases have not seen the daylight of a Court house? Don't you feel anything for the children killed at Gros Islet? SMH. I dare you to Report...

    (10)(4)
  2. he was given the maximum sentence under the law .we can't blame the judge its the law $10,000 or imprisonment for a year. If anything we the people should fight to change the law

    (13)(1)
  3. the other thing about this case is....i have not read anywhere if they suspended the drivers driving license. in cases like these, especially driving under the influence...there should be a suspension of the person driving license.

    (8)(0)
  4. Are you referring to the case where the truck run into some people killing them in the process near the GrosIslet Fire Service. Nothing has happen to this individual....where is the Justice....it's time we remove justice, truth and charity from our national anthem. Only then things will be right for all, red,blue, big shot, small man ! White ! Black, upper class, lower class. St. Lucia is unique, there is no other country like it on the planet.

    (10)(0)
    • people have 2 choices, take justice in theyr own hand or hold a massive demonstration and demand a deadline to see results.
      Government only put up a commission to have a look into the law and make recommendations but nothing happen in reality. It is high time to throw this outdated law system over board where cases are unsolved over years.

      (5)(0)
  5. In all this passing of the law i believe sometimes our humane instincts, characters, feelings and emotions come out. I would definitely not be happy if it was a family member of mine that was killed. I would fight for the worst penalty to be put against the driver but...i would think after so long does it actually help by killing and worsening another young boy's life. I hope this young man doesn't kill someone again and corrects his behaviour. If this happens with him again maybe i won't feel so humane. It is always healthy to think from both sides. I dont think such humane feelings should be extended to those rapists and murderers though. #JustSaying

    (5)(1)
  6. A drunk man should never be behind the wheel of a vehicle period.

    G.J

    (6)(2)
  7. this shit still happens in lucia....the system sucks and those responsible will pay one day....JAH na sleep...

    (2)(2)
  8. Everyone is on this man case what about the guy who killed the flight attendant in rodney bay justice for all??

    (6)(4)
    • Let it go...there are two factors in that case...his son may have been speeding.... There were no speed bumps or pedestrian cross walk...at the time....bad judgement on the driver....he was and still is probably inexperienced... And then there's the fact that there is a strong possibility that this individual underestimated how quickly the vehicle was moving and possibly crossing at the back of the bus not visible to oncoming traffic especially if lights are in their eyes.

      (2)(6)
      • You are omitting the fact that the guy admitted that he had been drinking. Speeding and drinking are two different things.

        (2)(0)
        • The guy admitted to having one drink ONE. Stop saying he was drinking like he was drunk. If you heard the facts to what happened you will see how the sentence came along. Stop listening to the one-sided stories..

          (3)(1)
  9. Let's reverse roles... Had it been a Lucian in another country that got hit... Who are you gonna blame...I bet I know the response so I need not say more.

    (5)(2)
  10. Hell yes they should be mad

    (2)(3)
  11. Wasn't there an article here proclaiming St Lucia was 35th best country for law. HA!

    (1)(1)
  12. There was an incident that happened almost eight years ago, where four people were killed owing to the recklessness of one driver. Where has this case gone?

    (13)(3)

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