Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 24th 2013 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, May 24, 2013
The answer to the street-dwelling problem
is not handouts, says Port-of-Spain mayor
Louis Lee Sing.
He was speaking yesterday at a stakeholder
engagement on the national strategy for street
dwelling in T&T held at the Ministry of the
People and Social Development, Independence
Lee Sing also urged people to stop feeding
vagrants and giving them money to support
their drug habit.
Saying the majority of the street dwellers
who have been picked up were deportees, drug
addicts and mentally-ill people, Lee Sing said
the minority were "real street dwellers."
"When I first said three years ago don t feed
the street dwellers everybody thought I was
insensitive, uncaring and inhumane," he said.
"The reality is if you continue to feed street
dwellers you are doing a disservice to the city
and to the street dwellers.
"The minute one group of homeless people
is removed another immediately moves in, often
leading to a fight for turf.
"One of the really big issues we have to deal
with is a social development issue. We have
got to get people to stop depending on the
Government for everything.
"Over many years, successive governments
have encouraged people to stretch out their
hands and become beggars and that is what
is at the crux of the country s lack of aggres-
siveness in terms of feeding itself, in terms of
becoming a real and meaningful exporter of
goods and services."
Echoing Lee Sing s sentiments was San Fer-
nando mayor Navi Muradali who said very
often Harris Promenade was littered with empty
food boxes and soft drink bottles on a Sunday
after people had fed the homelesss.
Minister of the People and Social Develop-
ment Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, who also spoke,
said in less than a year some 150 vagrants were
removed. He said in an exercise carried out by
his ministry on Wednesday, 33 were removed
Tackling the problem of street dwelling...
Handouts not the answer, says Lee Sing
Five Law Lords of the Privy Council ruled yes-
terday that the High Court and Appeal Court incor-
rectly calculated the compensation awarded to a
victim of malicious prosecution.
In allowing the appeal brought by Terrence Calix,
they said the $38,000 in damages which was initially
awarded to him was "inordinately low."
The appellate judges did not reassess the compen-
sation, instead they ordered Calix s case be remitted
to the Court of Appeal for its reconsideration.
Lord Brian Kerr, who delivered the 13-page judgment,
said: "That court is in a better position to assess, in
the local context, how significant was the failure of
the prosecuting authorities to follow the advice of the
police officer in charge of the case and to reflect more
assuredly the impact of the appellant s experience in
Golden Grove prison while on remand."
In the judgment the panel ruled both local courts
were wrong when they accessed the damage that was
done to Calix s reputation. They also said both courts
were wrong in dismissing or reducing the compensation
which Calix was entitled to for his loss of liberty.
According to the evidence in the appeal, Calix, of
Richardson Street, Point Fortin, was arrested in Decem-
ber 1998 after a man was robbed and a woman raped
in an incident on his street. Calix was described as
a recluse who lived in an abandoned house.
He was charged with both offences which were
tried separately. In May 1999, Calix was freed of the
robbery charge after a magistrate upheld a no-case
submission by his attorney. The magistrate ruled that
Calix was identified in a deficient identification parade.
Even though both cases centred around the same
evidence and the arresting officer suggested dropping
the second charge, Calix was still tried for rape.
In August that year, Calix was freed of the rape
charge after a similar no-case submission.
Calix then sued the State for malicious prosecution.
Although he was initially granted bail Calix did not
access it. He spent 115 days in remand until he was
eventually freed of the two charges.
High Court Judge James Aboud, who presided over
the case, ruled in favour of Calix and stated that after
he was freed of the robbery charge, prosecutors should
have discontinued the rape matter. Aboud awarded
Calix $38,000 in damages.
Calix appealed, challenging the amount of damages
awarded in his case. His appeal was dismissed by the
In his appeal to the Privy Council, Calix contended
that the Aboud had engaged in a series of speculative
assessments about him which had led to a plainly
erroneous evaluation of the damage to his reputa-
Lord Kerr said that Aboud mainly focused on Calix s
eccentricity, noting that although he (Calix) had a
reasonable education he chose to live in squalor.
"Simply because he chose an unconventional path,
it should not be supposed that his good character was
any less valuable in objective terms or that it was any
less cherished by him," Kerr said.
Privy Council: $$ for
rape accused too low
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