Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 8th 2015 Contents RACHAEL ESPINET
A statue worth approximately $70,000
was discovered stolen yesterday from the
Chaguaramas Military History and Avia-
And in an apparent weird sense of
humour, the thieves left an empty beer
bottle on the pedestal from where the heavy
bronze bust was taken.
The bust, which weighed approximately
a tonne, was of General Franciso de Miranda,
who fought in the South American Revo-
It was donated to the museum in July
2006 by the Venezuelan Embassy. It was
unveiled on the bicentennial of his departure
from Trinidad in 1806.
Linda Kelshall, president of the museum,
yesterday told T&T Guardian the bust was
discovered missing around 9 am yesterday
when the museum opened. She said the
museum does not open on Mondays so it
would have been stolen between Sunday
night and early Tuesday morning.
Kelshall said her husband Gaylord Kelshall
who is the founder of the museum, was
distraught over the stolen statue.
"He is in a mess. This museum is so
important to him and he can't believe some-
body would steal something like this from
us," told the T&T Guardian.
What's more distressing to her, she said,
is the fact that she believes that the bust,
which is made out of brass and copper and
took four people to load onto the pedestal,
was taken to be sold for scrap metal.
If anyone has information on the stolen
bust, they could contact Kelshall at 722-
This is the second major theft at the
In August of 2013, thieves also broke into
the museum and stole two historic weapons
- a Japanese sword used in World War I in
India and a SAR gun.
Officials at the museum said then that
the thieves entered the compound and broke
a glass case containing the weapons.
The T&T Coast Guard subsequently
removed the remaining weapons until fur-
ther security could be put in place.
Senior tour guide at the museum, Natasha
Harris, said then that the reason for the
security breach was because the museum
was underfunded and understaffed.
8 Wednesday, April 8, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
JENSEN LA VENDE
Crowds of curious onlookers yesterday flocked
outside the Sangre Grande Magistrates Court hop-
ing to get a glimpse of 12 police officers who
appeared for misbehaving in public office after
allegedly dousing a man with hot water two
The 12 --- WPC Giselle Skeete, constables Allan
Khan, Anil Mootoo, Keron Nanan, Joel Boodooosingh,
Ryan Williams, Ashley Charles, Ravi Doon and Mar-
vin Mendoza, Cpl Nicholas Vialva, Sgt Glen Elder
and Insp Kenneth Rampersad --- all attached to the
Eastern Division, appeared before Magistrate Alexan-
der Prince in the Sangre Grande First Court.
The crowd jeered as colleagues of the 12 protected
them by lining the streets as they passed from the
Sangre Grande Police Station to the courthouse,
located across the street. Members of the crowd
shouted "Don't hide them," "Let them walk out,"
"Why all yuh protecting them" and "Them police
them wicked," as the officers were whisked in and
out of the courthouse in heavily tinted vehicles, a
Ford Ranger and Toyota Prado, as their colleagues
lined the pathway of the vehicles.
Inside the courthouse, colleagues of the 12 crowded
the room and relatives of the accused questioned
members of the media who were in the courthouse.
The officers are alleged to have been directly or
indirectly involved in the alleged assault of Ralph
Lewis, 22, of Coronation Road, Sangre Grande,
claimed that on February 24 he went to the Sangre
Grande station after he learned he was wanted in
connection with house breaking and larceny.
He was detained overnight and the following
day, Lewis alleged that while being interrogated he
was stripped naked and hot water was poured on
his abdomen and genitals. He was hospitalised at
the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt
Hope, for close to a week.
Skeete, Rampersad, Khan, Mootoo, Nanan,
Boodoosingh, Williams, Charles and Mendoza were
charged with misbehaviour in public office for
allegedly being part of the assault.
Elder and Doon were charged for perverting the
course of public justice for their role in allegedly
attempting to cover up the assault, and Vialva was
charged with failing to act after receiving informa-
Vialva was granted $20,000 bail while his col-
leagues were each granted $250,000 bail.
He was the only one to enter a plea as his matter
is being heard summarily. He pleaded not guilty.
The other 11 have not been called on to enter a plea
since their matter will be heard before a judge and
must undergo a preliminary enquiry.
The officers were represented by Sade Lee-Duprey,
Patrick Godson Phillips and Shivan Jadoo while the
State is being represented by legal officer Insp Richard
They were warned by Prince to stay at least 100
metres away from Lewis and not to make any contact
with him. They will reappear in court on May 5.
It may be sold
as scrap metal
GETTING IT RIGHT
In an April 2 story on the probe into the
death of baby Simeon Cottle, headlined
"Panel Probing Cottle's Death Receives
Over $1m," we incorrectly reported that
attorney Debra Coryat received
$61,618.96 for her services. Ms Coryat
has since clarified that she was in fact
paid the sum of $30,809.48. Our report
was based on the details of the payment
released to parliament by the Office of
the Attorney General recently. Our
apologies to Ms Coryat for the error.
media and public
Museum president fears for prized statue...
According to its Web site, the museum
opened to the public in 1992 and consists
of 12,000 square feet of indoor displays
along with outdoor items and memorials
on a four-acre site.
Dominating the outdoor displays is the
preserved Coast Guard 103 foot FPB TTS
Buccoo Reef along with a BWIA aircraft,
vehicles and other artifacts.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM
for 07TH APRIL, 2015
Cops in alleged hot water attack
Chaguaramas Military and Aviation Museum president Linda Kelshall stands next to the pedestal of the stolen statue of Francisco de
Miranda yesterday with a framed article of its unveiling. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
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