Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 11th 2017 Contents A6 news
guardian.co.tt Saturday, February 11, 2017
#34 MURRAY STREET, WOODBROOK
FOR RENT ENQUIRIES 357-3576 0210039
Nidco replaces faulty Water Taxi vessel
Users of the Water Taxi Ser-
vice can breathe a bit easier af-
ter the National Infrastructure
Development Company (Nid-
co) has replaced the faulty HSC
Trini Flash that had passengers
spending up to 90 minutes on
managers Ingrid Ishmael said yes-
terday that the the HSC Paria Bullet
and the Calypso Sprinter will cater
to passengers for all ten sailings.
In a release yesterday, Ishma-
el said: "The Water Taxi Service
wishes to advise the public on the
return to service of the HSC Paria
Bullet from February 16, 2017. This
vessel will replace the HSC Trini
Flash which is currently experi-
encing prolonged sailing times.
The Service sincerely regrets the
There were numerous com-
plaints over the past week from
passengers travelling aboard the
HSC Trini Flash, which was op-
erating with several mechanical
problems. As a result, the time
spent travelling between San
Fernando and Port-of-Spain had
increased from 45 minutes to 90
minutes. Passengers told the T&T
Guardian that it was causing prob-
lems with their employers as they
would reach to work late. Some
even complained that it affected
their family lives. Over the past
weeks, the HSC Paria Bullet has
been moored at the WTS termi-
nal awaiting repairs while the HSC
Carnival Runner is schedules for
repairs at the dry dock in Chaguar-
Ford gives up PNM post
General Secretary of the PNM
Ashton Ford is insisting that his
resignation, which takes effect on
Wednesday, is for personal reasons.
Ford told the T&T Guardian yesterday
that only Prime Minister Dr Keith Row-
ley knows the "private and confidential"
reason for his decision to resign from his
position in the ruling party more than
one year before his four-year term ends.
Ford, who celebrated his 66th birth-
day on Tuesday, said there was no fall-
out with the PNM or Dr Rowley and
he did not want people to speculate,
stressing that his reason for resigning
was very personal.
Ford said it was Rowley who revived
his career after he served at the T&T
High Commission in London and was
elected General Secretary of the PNM
following the party's defeat at the polls
in 2010. He said he had served the party
since 1968 and worked with all former
PNM Prime Ministers---Dr Eric Wil-
liams, George Chambers and Patrick
Assistant general secretary Daniel
Dookie is expected to act as Gener-
al Secretary until national executive
elections are held next year.
A disabled woman who ad-
mitted to selling marijuana
on a La Romaine drug block
was spared a jail sentence for
a second time by a sympathetic
"You are bent on staying in the
marijuana trade," San Fernando
Magistrate Brambhanan Dubay
told Michaeline Wall, 27, as he re-
called 11 months ago she appeared
before him on a similar charge and
was warned she would be jailed if
she came back before him.
After her first conviction her sto-
ry was highlighted in the media and
attracted sympathetic views from
readers. Former Independent Sen-
ator Kriyaan Singh then agreed to
pay her fine of $2,500.
"After considering everything I
think you deserve a jail," Magistrate
Dubay told Wall after she pleaded
guilty to marijuana possession in
the Sixth Court. But he imposed a
fine of $4,000.
Wall was arrested by police
around 10.45 pm on Thursday,
one street away from her Byron
Street home where she lives with
Prosecutor Sgt Dianath Harrich-
aran said PC Lange was on patrol
along George Street when he saw
Wall on a known drug block acting
suspiciously. He told her she was in
an area which was frequented by
drug users. The officer observed
that she was trying to hide a pack
of cigarettes in her hand and took
it from her. Upon examining the
pack, he found it contained 11
packets of marijuana, weighing 12
Asking for a chance, she
said, "Oh gosh boss, I get lock up
already. Don't lock me up again nah.
I living not far from here."
She was taken to the Marabella
Police Station where she spent the
night. Reminding the magis-
trate that Wall appeared before
him on March 6, her attorney Frank
Gittens said she claimed then that
she had been using the illegal drug
for medicinal purposes.
He said Wall now receives public
assistance, but she has been living
under substandard conditions with
rats and cockroaches.
"She has been trying to earn a
small income by selling (marijua-
na)," said Gittens who submitted
that Wall never went to primary or
Gittens said the help people of-
fered to help Wall when she first ap-
peared in court had since dwindled.
"You understood you would get a
jail and you still choose to come and
sell weed on a block," the magistrate
Asked for his opinion on what to
do with Wall, the prosecutor said
it was clear she had no intention of
changing her ways.
Recalling the murder of nine-
year-old Cyon Paul in La Ro-
maine, the magistrate asked her
if she could run if gunmen pulled
up on the drug block and started
shooting at her.
As the magistrate scolded her
for using his money, paid in taxes,
to deal in drugs, she interjected,
saying: "Your taxpayers money
going in the bank and in the gro-
cery. I not taking my money and
buy them thing."
Wall's mother, Yvonne, who was
crying, told the magistrate she was
sick and could not properly super-
vise her daughter.
"Is bad company she following,"
"I think you should make a jail,"
the magistrate told Wall, but after
considering her honesty and guilty
plea he decided against it.
However, he warned, "You are on
thin ice," as he urged both mother
and daughter to get their act to-
Wall has 90 days to pay the fine
or serve 18 months in prison.
Machaeline Wall being escorted to the San Fernando Magistrates Courts
charged with possession of marijuana, yesterday. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
PNM General Secretary Ashton Ford speaks with an employee from Balisier
House at the party's headquaters yesterday. PHOTO: KERWIN PIERRE
Man freed of drug
charge after 13 years
After 13 years with a cocaine
trafficking charge hanging over his
head, an Equadorian national was
able to breathe a sign of relief yes-
terday after a San Fernando jury
found him not guilty.
Edgar Valdez, 77, who has been living
in T&T for 36 years, said his health was
affected since he suffered two heart at-
tacks waiting for the matter to be de-
"I feel like I get back my life," said
Valdez outside the High Court.
He said that there was a misunder-
standing of why foreigners come here.
"Not everybody coming to Trinidad
to deal in drugs," said Valdez whose
defence was that he was set up by the
Valdez went on trial earlier this week
before Third Court judge Althea Alex-
is-Windsor charged with possession
of 46.8 grammes of cocaine for the
purpose of trafficking. The State's
case was that the police executed a
warrant around 12.45 am on June 25,
2004 at Valdez' home and police of-
ficer Hansley Roget found the drugs
in a black bag under a bed at Valdez's
Princes Town home.
Roget said Valdez was at home when
the drugs were found.
However, Valdez, who was rep-
resented by attorney Subhas Pan-
day, produced hospital records to
show that he was seeking medical
attention at the hospital around the
time of the incident. Valdez said he
returned home after his daughter, now
24, called him. His common-law wife
of 30 years Radica Balgobin testified
that the policeman went into the corner
in the room, put his hand in his socks
and pulled with a bag with a white sub-
stance which smelt like baby powder.
The defence claimed he was set up
because two weeks before his arrest
a policeman came by his house with
another man named Turbo. He said
Turbo wanted him to do translation
services for him, but he refused. He
said the officer promised to do for him.
Valdez first went to trial for this mat-
ter a few years ago, but it was aborted.
The jury took two hours to find him
not guilty. The matter was prosecut-
ed by state attorney Maria Lyons-Ed-
wards. ---Sascha Wilson
Links Archive February 10th 2017 February 12th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page