Gasparillo ‘PH’ driver to register as sex offender

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds.

A GASPARILLO man who worked as a “PH” taxi driver and raped one of his passengers in 2017 has to register as a sex offender after he serves out the four remaining years on his 15-year sentence.

On Tuesday, Andrew Hazell was sentenced to 15 years after he pleaded guilty to raping a woman and falsely imprisoning her on January 25, 2017, in La Brea.

He was before Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds, who also ordered him to report to the Gasparillo police station every two months for five years after he is released.

For false imprisonment, Ramsumair-Hinds started with a sentence of six years and deducted the one-third discount for his guilty plea. She also took off the six years and one month he has been on remand.

When both deductions were taken into consideration, the judge said he had already served his sentence on that charge.

For raping the woman, she started with 15 years. Hazell received his credits for his guilty plea and time served, leaving three years and 11 months on his sentence. which he will serve with hard labour.

Hazell was using his car as a “PH” taxi when he pulled out a knife and threatened to kill the woman, a passenger, who got into his car.

He then took her to a small wooden shack and raped her.

At Tuesday’s hearing, assistant Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Danielle Thompson read a brief victim-impact statement by the woman.

She said she still has nightmares and wakes up screaming.

During the sentencing, the judge referred to Hazell’s previous three-month conviction for using violence against another woman, advising him to get help for his alcohol abuse problem and anger-management issues.

“If you have an addiction problem, then the proper thing to do is to seek assistance to overcome it,” said the judge.

Hazell was represented by attorney Shaunelle Hamilton.