​Penal man released after serving sentence for chopping neighbour for loud music

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Justice Kathy Ann Waterman-Latchoo

A PENAL man was ordered released by a High Court judge on Thursday after it was determined he served two months more than the sentence imposed by the court for chopping his neighbour in 2015 for blasting loud music from his car.

Sudama Saroop was on Thursday, sentenced by Justice Kathy Ann Waterman-Latchoo to 11 years of hard labour.

Saroop received discounts for his previously clean record, his show of remorse, and his guilty plea while the five years and six months he spent on remand before he was allowed to plead guilty were also deducted.

He was before the judge on a charge of wounding with intent. He was represented by Michelle Ali while Kezia Gray-Birkette appeared for the State.

In sentencing Saroop, she took into account he had a weapon when he approached his neighbour Himwant Samlal on November 21, 2015.

Samlal, she said, suffered serious injuries, including a fractured skull.

“You could have been on a much more serious charge,” she told him, adding that while loud music was irritating, Saroop’s reaction was out of proportion.

According to the facts agreed to by both the prosecution and defence, Samlal, then 28, was at home with his girlfriend drinking beers and playing music from the car as they celebrated their anniversary.

Saroop told him to turn down the music because of a sick baby and after an exchange of words, he chopped Samlal with a cutlass. Saroop aimed at his face and Samlal blocked with his left hand and was chopped again. He was also chopped on his head.

At the Siparia Health Facility, doctors bandaged his left hand and head and he was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital where he received stitches.

Police found the cutlass in a wash tub in Saroop’s yard with blood stains. When confronted by police, Saroop said he told Samlal he had a baby and asked him not to play his music loud. He claimed Samal attacked him so he took the cutlass and chopped him.

Samlal also admitted that three years before, police had come to his home to ask him to lower his music.