2885700

Derek Achong

A 28-year-old man from south Oropouche, charged with wounding a neighbour during an alleged robbery in 2007, has claimed that he and a friend sought to “teach the man a lesson” after he attempted to molest him.

Testifying in his defence in his judge-alone trial for robbery with violence before Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds, yesterday afternoon, Roger Ragoopath admitted the attack on Ramesh Mungroo was due to his inappropriate behaviour.

Ragoopath, who had just turned 15 at the time, claimed that he was playing in a play park near his home on September 2, 2007, when Mungroo, who was in his 20s, entered.

Ragoopath claimed he told Mungroo that he had to go home as his mother would be looking for him but said that Mungroo suggested that he stay and smoke some marijuana with him.

Ragoopath said after consuming the marijuana, he began to feel drowsy and decided to lie down.

He claimed that he was startled when Mungroo attempted to remove his pants, pushed him off and ran away.

Ragoopath claimed that on his way home he saw his friend and told him of the incident.

He admitted that he had a putty knife and they confronted Mungroo, who denied any wrongdoing.

Ragoopath testified that his friend, who was not charged, had a scuffle with Mungroo and he noticed that Mungroo had been wounded.

Ragoopath denied inflicting any blows on Mungroo and claimed he ran away when he saw Mungroo was bleeding from a wound to his neck.

Ragoopaty also denied that he robbed Mungroo, who died in unrelated circumstances before the trial, of $80 in cash and two cellphones.

Testifying on Wednesday, Sgt Anthony Baptiste claimed that when confronted in the presence of his mother, Ragoopath confessed to his involvement.

“I really had a knife on me. Me and (name witheld) went to teach Ramesh a lesson. He like to touch boys. He get he throat cut and we run,” Baptiste claimed Ragoopath said.

While cross-examining Baptiste, Ragoopath’s lawyer Renuka Rambhajan ran a “cut-throat defence” as she did not challenge whether or not Ragoopath made the statement but instead focused on why her client’s alleged accomplice was not prosecuted.

The trial is expected to continue on Monday when Ragoopath will be cross-examined by prosecutor Maria Lyons-Edwards.