Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 22nd 2013 Contents A10
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A 35-year-old landscaper has been sentenced
to eight years in jail for robbing a magistrate in
However, Melvin Phillip, of Chaguanas, who
was convicted of aggravated robbery last week
Wednesday, would only serve seven years and five
months in prison as the time he spent on remand
while awaiting his trial was deducted from his
In sentencing Phillip, Justice Malcolm Holdip
said armed robbery was an offence which left vic-
tims with long-lasting mental side effects.
"Young people who arm themselves and rob
others are a scourge to society," Holdip said.
Holdip noted that while testifying, the victim,
Magistrate Akhail Khan, asked the court to deal
with the matter impartially and not to treat it dif-
ferently because he was a member of the judiciary.
During the trial in the Port-of-Spain Second
Criminal Court, the State led evidence that on
May 11, 2007, Phillip robbed Khan at his home at
Penco Lands, Longdenville.
Khan testified that around 7.30 pm on the night
of the robbery, he drove into his driveway and
was about to close his gate when a man wearing
a hat and a handkerchief over his face entered his
Khan said the man told him, "Give me your
wallet or I will blast you." Khan gave the man his
wallet which had $166 and a cellphone valued at
Phillip was arrested almost two weeks later after
police were contacted by Phillip s friend Chez
Braithwaite who claimed that Phillip loaned him
Khan s stolen phone.
Khan identified Phillip in an identification parade.
However, the identification was disputed by defence
attorneys who claimed that it would have been
difficult for Khan to identify his attacker as the
suspect concealed his identity during the robbery.
Phillip also claimed that on the day of the rob-
bery he was receiving medical treatment at the
Couva Health Facility. He provided a medical cer-
tificate which showed that he left the facility at
around 5.30 pm.
Clint Chai, a 31-year-old
mechanic from Arima,
appeared in court yesterday
accused of having four det-
onators and 5.6 kilos of
explosives in his possession
during a police raid last Fri-
He was denied bail when
he appeared before Magis-
trate Adrian Darmanie in the
Arima Third Court yesterday
and was remanded to reap-
pear in court on Monday.
Chai, of Stephens Trace,
Malabar, was represented by
attorney L K Doodnath.
He was arrested by police
from the Arima CID on May
17 during a search of his busi-
nessplace at Get Well
Avenue, Pinto Road, Arima.
The explosives, which are
commonly used in quarrying,
can only be obtained from
Police said officers from
the Federal Bureau of Inves-
tigations (FBI) as well as
other international security
agencies had taken a keen
interest in the matter, in the
light of next week s visit by
US vice-president Joe Biden,
which is scheduled for May
The President of the Peo-
ple s Republic of China, Xi
Jinping, is also expected to
visit T&T for three days,
starting May 31.
Standing before Darmanie
in a grease-stained jersey,
Chai was not called upon to
plead to the two charges,
which were laid by PC
Damien Diamond of the
Chai was charged with
possession of two packets of
magna frac emulsion explo-
sives weighing 5.6 kilo-
grammes, and four shot-tube
detonators measuring 60 feet
Doodnath told the court
Chai had managed to stay out
of trouble since his last con-
viction in 2002, for which he
had been placed on a bond.
He said Chai s wife worked
for an environmental com-
pany, and the couple had
been married for the past six
Challenged by the magis-
trate that the offence was a
very serious one, Doodnath
pointed to the defendant as
he said Chai was not in the
"who s questionable" cate-
magistrate to impose condi-
tions, but there were no sub-
stantial grounds to deny bail.
Darmanie denied bail on
the basis of the seriousness
and nature of the offence.
No bail for mechanic on explosives charges
Police officers who found a quantity of explosives
and detonators last Friday were commended by Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday.
Persad-Bissessar, speaking with reporters in San
Fernando, praised the officers for their diligent police
work in finding the explosives and arresting a suspect.
She said the discovery was timely, especially when
the country was preparing for the state visits of US
vice-president Joe Biden this month and China s pres-
ident Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan.
The PM said: "The issue of security would be of
great importance---heightened security. The point is
they did find it. That is a plus for us that it was found,
and we therefore compliment the police for doing the
job in finding such dangerous things."
Persad-Bissessar made the comment after the Land
Settlement Agency s first draw of allocations for the
Land for the Landless residential lots programme at
the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts, San
She said the nation continued to rely on the protective
services to heighten the safety and security of the
PM praises alert cops
Arima mechanic Clint Chai, 31, on his
way to the Arima court yesterday, for
possession of explosives.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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