Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 15th 2015 Contents A5
Saturday, August 15, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Tornado-type weather systems tore
through Bhagaloo Trace and Dass
Trace in Enterprise yesterday, ripping
off parts of residents roofs and send-
ing them scampering in fear.
The phenomenon began around 2.30
pm when a hot, sunny day suddenly
turned ominously dark with thunder-
showers and gusty winds.
Dass Trace resident Clint Jeffers said
he was in his parlour near the recre-
ation ground when he heard a loud
noise and saw a "tornado" coming in
"It ripped off galvanise from the
pavilion. I ran into a side street," Jeffers
said, still shaken.
"There were four, one after the
Parts of the roofs of several houses
in the area were also damaged.
David Lewis, whose house was dam-
aged, said he was awakened from sleep
when his children ran under the bed
"When I look outside, I saw gal-
vanise flying in the air and the trees
lying down. It was real frightening.
First time this happened in here."
Three National Security helicopters
circled the area continually, yesterday,
after the incident.
In Bhagaloo Trace, single parent
Andaline Cyrus stood staring at her
roof. "The whole thing gone. All the
lath holding it up broke," she said.
Cyrus, 22, looks after her small son
and two little sisters.
Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner,
who had opened an office in nearby
Chaguanas East yesterday, visited res-
"Today is the first day I open my
office and this happen. This is my
baptism of fire," Warner said. He
promised to help Cyrus repair her roof.
Lower down Bhagaloo Trace, Mary
Smith was trying to push back in place
galvanise blown off a wooden structure
at the side of her house. She said she
used the structure as her kitchen.
Smith said she was having a shower
in an outdoor bathroom when she
heard the loud noise. She said the gal-
vanise bathroom also fell apart with
the strong winds.
Her 15-year old grandson, Mathew
Lewis, excitedly recorded the tornado
activity on his phone.
The Disaster Management Unit from
the Chaguanas Borough Corporation
visited Smith shortly after and gave
her a tarpualin.
Nearby, Nakeisha Green and her
three children, one an 18-year old boy
in a wheelchair, stood silently around
their house which had gaping spaces
in the roof.
The Disaster Management Team
gave the family two mattresses and a
There were reports that a stage set
up at the Couva Children s Hospital
for the opening of the facility collapsed
during the thunderstorm.
JENSEN LA VENDE
Two minors charged with
unlawfully killing an 11-year-
old boy were granted $70,000
bail each after spending two
nights in remand.
The two brothers narrowly
escaped being sent back to the
Youth Training Centre (YTC),
in Arouca, after their attorneys
successfully petitioned Chief
Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar
to deliberate on whether the
children were eligible for bail
during her lunch break, rather
than over the weekend.
When the matter was called
legal officer Cpl Keston Abra-
ham said under the amendment
to the Bail Act the children were
not entitled to bail given that
they committed an offence
while in possession of a firearm.
He said that the act also stip-
ulates that where punishment
for a crime is beyond a ten-
year jail sentence, the defendant
is not entitled to bail for 120
The children s attorneys,
Russel Warner who represented
the 13-year-old and Saeed
Trotter who represented the
child s 11-year-old brother,
informed the magistrate that
under the Children s Act, no
child is allowed to be impris-
oned and by denying them bail,
the court was in fact placing
them in a prison, contrary to
the Children s Act.
Legal officer attached to the
Children s Authority, Nnika
Watson, said that the law stated
that children were to be placed
at either a rehabilitation centre
or a community residence.
Watson said that the failure of
the State to provide either
forced the magistrate to have
the children remanded at YTC.
After listening to both sides,
as well as Watson, Ayers-Cae-
sar said that the Children s Act
brought "new light" and moved
to adjourn the matter to Mon-
day. However, Trotter argued
that the court could return after
lunch "for the children" stating
that their continued stay at
YTC would further traumatise
When the matter resumed
at 3 pm, Ayers-Caesar granted
the children $70,000 bail each
and ordered that they report to
the West End Police Station
every Saturday between 6 am
and 6 pm. As the magistrate
granted the children bail, their
mother, seated in the back of
the prisoner s dock, was seen
smiling. Their grandfather was
seen wiping away tears as he
left the courtroom.
Before granting bail, the chief
magistrate read an excerpt from
the Hansard where then attor-
ney general Anand Ramlogan
argued that the purpose of the
amendment was to send a
strong message that the pos-
session of illegal firearms was
not a trivial thing.
She said even though the law
existed for the sole purpose of
curbing gun-related offences,
she believed that the legislators
did not envisage the act being
used against minors, particu-
larly in a case where the proper
mental culpability had not been
"It cannot be that the leg-
islators intended to use the
same yardstick towards children
and adults. In granting bail I
am looking at the age of the
children and their development.
Are they understanding the
consequences of their actions,
because the necessary intent
may not be present," Ayers-
Ayers-Caesar also ordered
that a psychological, psychiatric
and psycho-educational eval-
uation be done on the children,
who throughout the court mat-
ter sat in the prisoners dock,
eyes fixed on the chief magis-
trate, and their heads barely
sticking above the three-foot-
high wooden barrier. The
assessments will have to be pre-
sented to the court by Watson
or anyone from the Children s
Authority on the next date for
hearing. She then ordered that
the children return to court on
The brothers are charged
with manslaughter and pos-
session of a shotgun and
ammunition following the
shooting death of Ruben Reid
on August 6.
Reid was killed in the hills of
Upper Richplain, Diego Martin,
after being shot in the face with
a shotgun. He was buried on
August 12, the day the children
first appeared in court.
$70,000 bail for minors
on manslaughter charge
The Met Office yesterday said
whereas tornados were possible in
T&T, what most likely occurred in
Enterprise were strong winds
associated with thundershowers.
"The down draft from the storm
would be bouncing off different
objects and creating a funnel-type
cloud with a whirling effect."
The Met Office said there was a lot
of thundershower activity in
Chaguanas and the western side of
the island yesterday.
MET OFFICE: JUST STRONG WINDS
Roofs blown off in Enterprise
Members of the Smith family stand outside their home after its roof was damaged by tornado-type weather at Bhagaloo
Trace, Enterprise, Chaguanas, yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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