Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 10th 2015 Contents A9
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Four months after Stephon Sinnette
was shot to death in his Chatham
South Trace home, a Sea Lots, Port-
of-Spain, man appeared in court
charged for his murder.
Brandon Lawrence, 24, of Pioneer
Drive, appeared before a Point Fortin
Magistrate Maria Busby Earl-Caddle
and was remanded in custody.
He was charged by PC Nelson of the
Lawrence was represented by attor-
neys Joseph Honore and Tricia Gilbert-
Bain. The Office of the Director of Public
Prosecution is yet to appoint an attorney
to prosecute the case. Gilbert-Bain asked
for disclosure in the matter which has
been adjourned to December 7.
Sinnette, 33, was found with gunshot
wounds to his chest on July 8, shortly
after he chopped his 55-year-old neigh-
bour Ricardo Rodriguez, during a dis-
Rodriguez was taken to the Point
Fortin Area Hospital and a report was
made to the police.
Police investigations led them to Sin-
nette s home, where they discovered
One week after Sinnette s death, four
of his neighbours were also shot to
death at their nearby home.
Grace Toussaint, 55, her husband
Peter Baptiste, 59, her mother Lena
Peters, 75, and son Jeremy Toussaint,
24 were all shot in the head.
No one has yet been held in con-
nection with those four murders.
Can being labelled a homosexual damage a per-
son s reputation?
This was the question posed by High Court Judge
Mira Dean-Armorer after she heard the last of the
evidence in a defamation lawsuit brought by radio
announcer Ricardo "Gladiator" Welch against three
of his former colleagues, who he claimed tarnished
his reputation by questioning his sexual orientation
during a radio show in 2010.
"You need to address your mind to whether being
called a homosexual will lower you in the estimation
of the reasonable thinking person considering inter-
national opinion on the topic," Dean-Armorer said
as she gave instructions to lawyers representing
Welch and his former colleagues Andy Williams,
Devon Welch (no relation) and Juliet Davy on what
she felt the focus of their written submissions
Dean-Armorer made the statement after hearing
evidence from Williams and two of his witnesses
who all alleged that they had witnessed Welch
engaged in sexual activity with teenage boys.
Taking the witness stand, Williams claimed that
he first learned of Welch s sexual orientation when
he served as his driver before being hired to host
his own show. Williams repeatedly claimed that
Welch would instruct him to drop him at several
popular gay bars and to pick up teenage boys with
whom Welch would engage in sexual activity while
"Are you telling the court today that my client
is a homosexual?" Welch s lawyer Eduardo Martinez
asked while cross examining Williams.
"Straight up," Williams responded. However, he
was careful to note that he did not do so on his
radio programme as alleged by Welch.
"Can you identify any of the boys you are speak-
ing of?" Martinez asked.
"I could identify one sitting down there," Williams
said as he pointed to a man seated in the public
gallery before Dean-Armorer intervened to stop
Martinez said: "You made the statements to boost
your own image and lower Gladiator s."
"No, I am on radio everyday. I don t need to say
anything about your client to do that. He did that
all by himself," Williams responded.
Williams claimed he ended his friendship with
Welch after he made several unwanted advances
Williams evidence was followed by that of
Michael "Mikey K" Kerr, the producer of the show
in which the statements were reportedly made.
Kerr claimed Welch was open with his sexuality
when they worked together at another radio station,
and would talk openly about this with him and
"He would say they (the boys) are my pillow
biters," Kerr said when asked to recall one of their
Williams next witness, part-time radio announcer
and social activist Lennox Smith, supported his
claims. He testified that he (Smith) witnessed Welch
kissing two boys at a fast food restaurant in Maraval
several years ago. Smith repeatedly maintained his
claim as he was accused of lying by Martinez.
When questioned by Martinez on whether public
discussions on homosexuality were considered taboo
in T&T, all three men said no.
In addition to the three announcers, Welch is
also suing radio station 104.7 FM, which broadcast
the programme. The radio station has denied any
wrong doing as they claimed that the unscripted
shows were privately produced by Kerr s company
which paid for them to be broadcast.
The case has been deferred to March 24, when
Dean-Armorer will hear oral submissions.
Welch is also being represented by Farai Hove
Masaisai, while Michael Rooplal is representing
Williams. Mervyn and Marc Campbell are repre-
senting the radio station.
Evidence closed in
Gladiator's sex talk case
Man in court charged
with Chatham murder
Brandon Lawrence is escorted to the Point Fortin Magistrate's Court yesterday.
He is charged with the murder of Stephon Sinnette.
Police are searching
for a prisoner who
escaped from the Cen-
tral Police Station, Port-
of-Spain, on Monday
According to reports,
the 26-year-old suspect
from Carapo, Arima, was
arrested by officers of the
Criminal Gang and Intel-
ligence Unit (CGIU) over
the weekend and was
detained at the St Vin-
cent Street Station for
Police reportedly left
him a holding cell and
when they returned sev-
eral hours later he was
missing. Police sources
said that investigators
believe that the suspect
slipped through a space
in the gate of the cell.
Investigators were said
to be yesterday reviewing
CCTV footage to deter-
mine how the suspect
managed to evade offi-
cers on duty and leave
The T&T Guardian
understands that the sus-
pect s wife was held yes-
terday for questioning
and remained in custody
up to late yesterday.
Contact for comment
yesterday, head of the
Senior Supt Johnny
Abraham, confirmed the
incident but said he did
not want to comment
until he received more
information from inves-
Gang suspect escapes
from station in Central
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