Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 20th 2013 Contents A11
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Dressed as a pierrot grenade, Aeda Bhagaloo, of
Naparima Girls' High School, San Fernando, performs
in the Dramatised Speech category of the NGC
National Junior Arts Festival of the San Fernando
Arts Council yesterday. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
The Court of Appeal has reserved its deci-
sion in the appeal brought by a 28-year-
old chef, convicted of beating his two and
half-year-old stepdaughter to death in 2004.
Appeal Court judges Paula Mae-Weekes,
Alice Yorke Soo Hon and Rajendra Narine
opted to reserve their decision after hearing
short submissions from State attorneys and
Anton Bruce's legal team.
In the appeal, Bruce's attorney Jagdeo
Singh contended the judge in his client's
2009 trial misdirected the jury in his sum-
mation of the case.
In response, Senior Counsel Dana See-
tahal said even though the jury was possibly
misdirected, Bruce's conviction would be
the same because of strong medical evi-
Both attorneys agreed the only verdicts
available to the jury on the evidence in the
case was guilty of either murder or
Before adjourning the appeal, Weekes
asked both lawyers if it was within the
court's power to substitute Bruce's guilty
verdict to one of manslaughter. Both See-
tahal and Singh said yes.
In February 2011, Bruce was convicted
by a 12-member jury in the San Fernando
High Court for the murder of stepdaughter
The incident happened on April 8, 2004,
at Bruce's home on Paradise Street, McBean,
Couva. He lived there with his Roberts' moth-
er and her three children.
According to evidence Bruce gave three
different explantations for the child's injuries.
When he initially took Roberts to the Couva
Health Facility, he told police he threw the
child up in the air but while trying to catch
her, he missed.
He later confessed to investigators the child
was refusing to eat and he hit her three times.
While on trial before Justice Malcolm
Holdip, Bruce testified in his defence and
changed his story a second time.
Bruce claimed on the morning of the inci-
dent, he realised that some of his money
was missing. He said he confronted the three
children and the eldest admitted she stole
the money and used it to buy snacks for her-
self and her siblings.
Bruce said he disciplined the children by
giving them several lashes with a whip. He
claimed he did not use the whip on Roberts
but instead used his hand to hit her six times.
An autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr
Hughvon Des Vignes showed that Roberts
suffered 17 injuries including a ruptured liver.
State prosecutor George Busby also
appeared for the State in the appeal.
Appeal Court reserves
decision in infant's killing
The Communication Workers Union
(CWU) emerged victorious from the Indus-
trial Court yesterday after the court ruled
in favour of TSTT workers demand for a
fixed monthly Cost of Living Allowance
"This is one of the greatest victories we
have achieved in a long while," said Joseph
Remy, the union's president, after the ruling
outside the court on St Vincent Street, Port-
He said in December 2011, TSTT reduced
the Cola for junior staff members from the
fixed rate of $570.09 to $384 without con-
sulting the union.
He said the workers did not make any
proposals to change the Cola rate, and the
company tried to "hoodwink" the CWU
by claiming they were going to apply the
1993 cost-of-living index, which both parties
agreed the allowance would be based on,
to the 2003 index, which was lower.
Remy said the judge agreed it didn't make
sense that workers would accept a lower
allowance, and declared TSTT was wrong
for making a unilateral decision.
"We would not sit down in any free and
fair collective bargaining process, and agree
to a reduced Cola, especially with the rising
cost of living today," said Remy.
He believes that Cola was necessary
because as "The cost of living increases,
the purchasing power of your dollar decreas-
es," and therefore, by receiving this
allowance, workers could be saved from
"What happened today in court is a vin-
dication of the years of struggle we waged,"
he said, and declared TSTT must never
again interfere with the terms and conditions
of their employment which they had mutu-
Remy said the Oilfields Workers' Trade
Union was the only other union whose
workers received Cola based on a cost-of-
He said this proves that "Cola has an
economic purpose." Both unions belong to
the Federation of Independent Trade Unions.
Remy said TSTT told workers there would
be no wage increases until the Cola matter
Now that Cola was sorted out, he said,
"negotiations must settle right after."
Remy called for wage negotiations for
the periods 2008-2010 and 2011-2013 to
be resumed, and said that once workers
were satisfied, negotiations for the current
period 2014-2016 could begin.
"If these negotiations can't be resolved
bilaterally, then it will have to be resolved
on the streets," Remy threatened, calling
on the CWU to apply pressure on the com-
pany "by the only means we know neces-
He said from next week, the CWU will
be engaging in intense protest action to
ensure that negotiations are resumed and
resolved in the workers' best interest.
CWU comes out roses in Cola challenge to TSTT
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