Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 10th 2013 Contents A18
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, December 10, 2013
A High Court judge has ordered
the State to pay $90,000 in compen-
sation to a fireman who won a law-
suit against a police officer he claimed
framed him for marijuana posses-
Justice Carol Gobin awarded the
compensation to Michael Simon, of
Brewster Boulevard, West Park,
Cocoyea, while assessing damages in
his case last Wednesday.
In June, Gobin ruled that Simon,
an officer with more than 20 years
service, had been maliciously prose-
cuted by acting Cpl Stephen Bernard
and officers of the Valencia Police Sta-
According to his evidence, on
November 4, 2005, Simon was on his
way to Toco with two friends when
he was stopped in a police roadblock
at Valencia Junction.
Simon testified when he was
stopped, a policeman identified as
Bernard searched him and accused
him of smoking marijuana.
Simon said he identified himself as
a fire officer and told the policeman
he had never smoked marijuana in his
Simon said Bernard and other police
searched him and his car and found
no illegal drugs.
"As the police officers were walking
back towards the roadblock PC Bernard
suddenly exclaimed: I find it! and
shouted to the other police officers at
the roadblock to return," Simon said.
He said while he was in a holding
cell at the Sangre Grande Police Sta-
tion, Bernard asked for his driver s
permit and insurance. Simon said he
did not have the documents as they
were in the glove compartment of his
car and offered to get them.
Simon said without allowing him
to go for the documents, Bernard
charged him with four offences---mar-
ijuana possession, driving without a
permit and valid insurance and failing
to produce a driver s permit to a uni-
formed police officer.
In defence of the claim Bernard
denied he fabricated evidence against
He claimed when he stopped Simon
in the roadblock, he smelt burnt mar-
ijuana in his car. Bernard said while
searching Simon he found a packet of
marijuana in his shirt pocket.
He also alleged that Simon refused
to give him his driver s permit and
insurance when he requested the doc-
The evidence presented showed
Simon attended the Sangre Grande
Magistrates Court 11 times before
magistrate Lianne Lee-Kim eventually
dismissed the charges on June 30,
2008, after the prosecution failed to
present evidence in the case.
In his lawsuit Simon claimed the
charges caused him humiliation and
damage to his reputation. He showed
he had been suspended for three years
until the charges were dismissed, dur-
ing which time he received three-
quarters of his monthly salary.
Simon was represented by Abdel
and Shabaana Mohammed, while
Christine Modeste represented the
Newly elected chairman of the
Couva/ Tabaquite/Talparo Regional
Corporation Henry Awong says not
only at Christmas, Divali or Eid
"must we call for the renewal of
peace, concord and harmony."
Awong highlighted those points at
the opening of the corporation s
annual Christmas creche at Inshan
Ali Park last week.
"Our country needs an ongoing
programme to rekindle the spirit of
Christmas or the spirit of the several
religious celebrations in Trinidad and
Tobago," he told patrons. The pro-
gramme has become an annual event
for the corporation.
He also spoke of the need "to fight
the evil tendencies which continue
to plague our society and our nation
as a whole."
Let us be guided by the saying of
our Lord Jesus Christ that we must
always be our brothers keeper. This
saying is 2,000 years old, yet it is
pertinent, it is relevant and more so
powerful as it was enunciated then,"
Awong urged all members of the
corporation "to become the change
we want for ourselves and transmit
it to others in society."
Republic Bank s general man-
ager of group marketing and com-
munications, Anna-María García-
Brooks, has called on the nation
to put children first and in so doing
make the world right.
Referring to the recent killing of
children, she said while the Chris-
tian community was preparing to
celebrate the birth of the Christ
Child, the country must get to the
root causes of social problems by
asking the question, "Why" and
not by responding with superficial
salvos that simply address the
symptoms rather than the causes
of the problems.
She said some of the programmes
supported by the bank over the last
ten years dealt with common sense
parenting and parenting for fathers,
but much more was needed.
She said this at the St Dominic s
Pastoral Centre, Diego Martin, as
the bank once again committed
$100 million to social programmes
in T&T over the five-year period
of 2014 to 2018, through its Power
to Make a Difference Programme.
The programme is now its 11th
Delivering an address at the
launch, the bank s executive direc-
tor, Nigel Baptiste, said the pro-
gramme would continue to focus
on youth development through
education, sport and culture, and
continue its support of the phys-
ically challenged, while deepening
its thrust in the area of literacy, par-
ticularly among young people at
high risk communities.
Recipients of the 2014--2018 corporate social responsibility programme, Power to Make a Difference, pose
for a photograph at the launch.
prosecution Republic Bank using power to make a difference
Awong calls for renewal of peace
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