Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 15th 2013 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, October 15, 2013
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President of the Media Associ-
ation Curtis Williams says jour-
nalists should not be disqualified
from receiving subsidised govern-
ment houses or other benefits on
the basis of their profession.
He was responding to claims made
by Independent Liberal Party political
leader Jack Warner that he intended
to reveal the names of journalists who
obtained Housing Development Cor-
poration houses from the present gov-
Williams, in a telephone interview,
said he did not know what kind of
evidence Warner had to substantiate
his allegations concerning journalists.
"However, what I do know is that
if journalists, like all nationals of T&T,
meet the requirements for HDC houses
and receive them," he said, "there ought
not to be the suggestion he or she is
in the pocket of any politician. "A jour-
nalist ought not to be disqualified from
receiving houses or any other benefits
from a government programme simply
because he or she is a journalist.
"If one were to buy that argument,
then one should also question whether
a journalist should qualify for the Gov-
ernment Assisted Tertiary Education
What if Warner s allegation that he
had a list of journalists who were
bought with HDC houses were true?
Did he see this reflected in a lot of
pro-government articles in the media?
Williams replied, "I don t know
what is a pro-government journal-
"I see articles in which the journalist
generally tries to cover his assignment
as truthfully and as objectively as he
Wesley Gibbings, president of the
Association of Caribbean Media Work-
ers also responded to Warner s alle-
gations: "That s ridiculous."
"He has said so many things. I guess
he has proof."
Daren Lee Sing, president of the
T&T Publishers and Broadcasters
Association, and Kiran Maharaj, vice-
president, could not be reached for
comment. Housing Minister Dr Roodal
Moonilal, in response to Warner s
claims says Warner should not judge
by his own standards.
The ILP leader also claimed jour-
nalists were being bought with HDC
houses and said he had a list of every
one of them who received HDC houses.
He said some of the houses were in
posh Santa Margarita.
"I know who live there, I know the
homes," Warner said.
Asked to comment on Warner s
campaign style, "Moonilal said, "His
platform is called the dutty-mouth
A San Fernando mother who a stole
a handbag to buy food for her three
hungry children was jailed for seven
Michelle Cudjoe, 24, of Friendship
Village, San Fernando, and a 17-year-
old girl were jointly charged with rob-
bery with aggravation.
Cudjoe pleaded guilty. The teenager,
however, pleaded not guilty and was
granted $50,000 bail.
They appeared before San Fernan-
do Senior Magistrate Indra Ramoo-
The incident took place on Saturday
Police prosecutor Cleyon Seedan said
around 7.10 pm Mariella Phillip boarded
a taxi in which the defendants were
seated, at Lord Street, San Fernando.
When the taxi reached Peterloo Street
Extension, Friendship Village, Cudjoe
asked the driver to stop.
She then grabbed Phillip s blue Levi
denim bag, which contained cash and
other items, and came out the taxi.
Phillip made a report to the Ste
Madeleine Police Station. PC Nanan
went to Friendship Village where he
met and confronted Cudjoe with the
report he had.
She said, "Officer Nanan ah sorry
ah really take she bag." Cudjoe then
handed over the handbag to the officer.
The prosecutor said Cudjoe did not
have a criminal record.
Asked by the magistrate why she
stole the handbag, Cudjoe said, "Hon-
estly, I have three kids and at the time
of the incident I was in a desperate sit-
uation. My kids did not have anything
to eat. It was an honest mistake."
Asked why she was out at that time
of the night when her children were
home hungry, Cudjoe said she went to
borrow money from a friend.
Asking not to be sent to jail, Cudjoe
said she had no one to take care of her
She said she even asked PC Nanan
to apologise to Phillip. The magistrate
said she took into consideration that
Cudjoe pleaded guilty and did not waste
the court s time, did not try to blame
anyone else for her actions and was a
first time offender. "Instead of 18
months you will do seven months sim-
ple imprisonment," the magistrate said.
Cudjoe asked to be put on a bond,
but the magistrate said, "Not in this
The teenager s attorney Annalee Gir-
war, in asking for bail, said the teenager
recently graduated from hotel school
with a certificate in hotel management
and lives with her grandmother in
After granting bail, the magistrate
adjourned the matter to November 11.
Employees from the San
Juan/Laventille Regional Corpo-
ration were up to late yesterday
attempting to capture an aban-
doned pitbull at Mon Repos road
Residents said they fear for their
lives with the dog running freely
through the community.
In an interview, one of the res-
idents said: "Mon Repos Road, for
the past week, has been haunted
by a very unhappy and aggressive
pitbull-esque dog who prevents
those without electric gates from
entering and exiting their homes,
housekeepers have to be dropped
to the door and children kept inside.
Our story is just the tip of the ice-
"TTSPCA s position is not clear
at all and police actually showed
up and fired a shot (and missed) at
the poor beast at 7 in the morning
(10 feet from my gate)," the resident
Yesterday, when a Guardian team
visited, the dog was not in the area.
One of the residents said she saw
the dog on Sunday.
"She was up running up and
down the road. She looks as if she
has mange. Like she is a mangy
pitbull that somebody dump here,"
she said. Another of the residents
said he saw the dog last week and
she was attacking residents.
"Last week she was attacking
residents. She looks as if somebody
abandoned her here," he said.
Port-of-Spain mayor Louis Lee
Sing who resides in Cascade said
residents are fearing for their lives.
"I heard about it and if it comes
by me I will kill it. I heard people
speaking about it and they are
scared. It has been a while I been
hearing about this, more than week.
There are not a lot of abandoned
dogs in the community," he said.
Chairman of the San Juan/Laven-
tille Regional Corporation, Nafeesa
Mohammed, said the matter will
be dealt with.
The Cascade community falls
under the San Juan/Laventille
TTSPCA, the Society for the Pre-
vention of Cruelty to Animals -
North Branch member Annette Sir-
joo said if the dog is spotted by the
residents they should call the police.
"They need to notify the police and
sadly people are dumping their pit-
bulls and the corporation picks up
dogs on the street. We didnt get
any reports. If the corporation gets
the dog they will bring the dog to
us," she said.
Deputy police commissioner
Mervyn Richardson said the police
will act if the dog is a threat to the
Matt: Nothing wrong
obtaining HDC housing
Suspect pitbull lurking around in Cascade
Mom claims she stole
to feed children
Michelle Cudjoe, 24, sentenced to
seven months for robbing a woman of
her handbag containing cash and other
items. PHOTO : RISHI RAGOONATH
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