Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 14th 2017 Contents Biche family
of 4 awarded
Haunted by his detention and taunted by peo-
ple who still consider him a criminal, a Biche
gardener felt a sense of relief after he won a
malicious prosecution case against the State.
Sookraj Madhoo and three members of his fami-
ly, walked out of the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain
on Tuesday with smiles on their faces, afterJustice
Nadia Kangaloo awarded general damages in the
sum of $250,000 to his family.
Madhoo and his son Amit, who were impris-
oned before the matters against them were dis-
missed, were both awarded $100,000 each in
general damages with interest from the date
of arrest to the date of judgement.
His daughter and Boodhan were awarded
$25,000 each, with interest. All four were
awarded special damages in the sum of
$10,000 total, being their legal cost they
incurred in the Magistrate's Court. The State
was also ordered to pay their legal costs in
High Court matter.
In his witness statement, Madhoo, a
gardener of Fitts Road, Biche, who main-
tained his innocence, said he continues to
be traumatised by his arrest and detention and
embarrassed by people who consider him and his
family to be criminals.
He said even though he and his family were freed
of all charges, he continues to be haunted by his
detention and taunted by people who still meet him
and say things like, "Ah hear all you dealing in gun
, or "Ah hear police hold allyuh with gun boy."
He said the suit against the Attorney General
stemmed from two incidents, one in 2006 and the
other in 2008, when police officers charged him and
his family for gun possession.On both occasions the
cases were dismissed against them.
On May 18, 2006, he said, police officers came
to his home, searched his premises and eventually
charged all four with illegal possession of a firearm
and ammunition. All charges were dismissed against
the four at the Rio Claro Magistrate's Court on April
However, on October 31, 2008, Madhoo said
armed officers came to his home and on this occa-
sion, went to the side of the house and returned with
a shotgun for which they were all charged.
He said he and his family, with the exception of an-
other son who lives elsewhere, were arrested,placed
in six police vehicles which were parked to the front
of his house.
"From the time my family and I went to the gal-
lery, to the time we were placed in the vehicles, I
saw neighbours looking in our direction, which was
very embarrassing for me," Madhoo stated in court
He said while Boodhan and his daughter were
granted bail, he and his son were detained at the
remand prison and had to share a small cell with
approximately 13 men. He said he had to use a
bucket for a toilet.
Madhoo said the time spent in jail was extremely
traumatic and has caused him much emotional
Madhoo and his family were represented by
attorney Kevin Ratiram, while Leah Thompson
and Antoinette Alleyne for the Attorney General.
guardian.co.tt Friday, July 14, 2017
to POA concerns:
In the coming months, the public
will see a number of new initiatives
being rolled at the country's prisons.
CCTV cameras have already been in-
stalled at the Port-of-Spain State Prison
after the entire building block was re-
At the Youth Training Centre for teen
accused plans are afoot to construct a hall
of residence, while the remand section at
Golden Grove Prison, Arouca will soon have
its video conference centre operational.
These were some of the improvements
National Security Minister Edmund Dillon
outlined on Wednesday to reporters.
Dillon's comments came two days after
president of the Prisons Officers Associ-
ation Ceron Richards in a T&T Guardian
article expressed fears that Sunday's jail-
break in Guyana was a disaster waiting to
happen at the Port-of-Spain Prison.
Richards said two things that could trig-
ger a stand-off and jailbreak at this pris-
on were lack of security measures and the
city's ageing facility.
Dillon said in a bid to install CCTV cam-
eras at the city's prison they had
to call in T&TEC to replace the
facility's entire electrical system.
"We did that quite recently. We
had to change the system to cater for
those new loads and additional wiring
and so on. We have a contractual arrange-
ment right now looking at CCTV cameras
through the Trinidad and Tobago Prison
He said the ministry has so far completed
70 per cent of its video conferencing cen-
tre at the Remand Yard Prison, something
which had been proposed for several years.
"We had some issues on and off with
the contractor which has been dealt with."
Once completed, Dillon said this would
take away the movement of remand in-
mates and Tobago prisoners from attending
court who are sometimes told that their
matters have been postponed to a later date.
"So that they would be brought right
next door and that facility is just outside
of remand yard and their issues will be dealt
with via video conferencing."
Dillon said there were also plans to
strengthen the manpower of prison of-
ficers. He said some areas of deficiency
which the association identified were
Asked if the ministry intended to
do an independent assessment of the
structural integrity of the Port-of-
Spain Prison, which was built in 1812,
Dillon said with the exception of the
Maximum Security Prison most of our
jails were old.
"We are looking at issues pertinent
to Carrera (Island Prison), Port-of-
Spain and other facilities that are
aged. Right now we are looking at the
Youth Training Centre...we have just
looked at renovating and creating a
hall of residence for the boys."
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