Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 18th 2013 Contents A5
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A 67-year-old British man who
pleaded guilty to indecently
assaulting a nine-year-old boy
while vacationing in Trinidad has
been sentenced to three years and
four months in prison.
Derek Ide, a former teacher from
Southampton, is not expected to
complete his sentence in a local
prison, as his lawyer Sean Cazabon
has signalled his intention to apply
for his client to be extradited to
the UK to serve the sentence.
"A request will be made to the
British High Commission to have
him extradited," Cazabon said in
a telephone interview yesterday.
In passing sentence, Magistrate
Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor, presid-
ing in the Port-of-Spain Seventh
Court, said it should serve as a
deterrent to Ide and other potential
"Sexual offences against the
most vulnerable members of our
society, our children, will not be
tolerated," Baboolal-Gafoor said.
Ide was arrested in early May
after the child s father reported
the incident to Carenage police.
Ide was accused of performing
oral sex on April 28 on the child
aboard his yacht, which was
docked in a boatyard in Chaguara-
He was initially charged with
grievous sexual assault and was
not called upon to plead to the
In November, after several wit-
nesses had testified in the prelim-
inary inquiry, assistant Director of
Public Prosecutions George Busby
applied to have the charge amend-
ed to the lesser offence of serious
Because the lesser offence could
be tried before a magistrate, Ide
elected to have the case heard
before Baboolal-Gafoor and was
then allowed to enter a guilty plea.
In his mitigation plea presented
last Friday, Cazabon said his
client s guilty plea showed he was
sorry for his actions.
"The guilty plea saves valuable
judicial time. It shows that he is
remorseful and it saved the boy
from the trauma of having to give
evidence," Cazabon said.
He admitted that in 1983, his
client was convicted in England
of a similar offence against a boy
but said Ide was willing to partic-
ipate in therapy and counselling
when he was eventually deported.
Meanwhile, in a separate case
yesterday, a jury found a 45-year-
old man guilty of serious indecency
against a 16-year-old girl.
The nine-member jury in the
Port-of-Spain High Court could
not come to a unanimous verdict
on Rodney St Bernard, a taxi driver
from Morvant, even after deliber-
ating for three hours.
Justice Devan Rampersad then
accepted a majority verdict, with
seven jurors saying they felt St
Bernard was guilty and the rest
disagreeing. Rampersad sentenced
St Bernard to two years and 11
months in prison.
On February 11, 2001, St Bernard
picked up the victim at the Mor-
vant taxi stand.
While on his way to drop her
home, he stopped and forced the
girl to touch his penis. He then
dropped her home.
In sentencing St Bernard, Ram-
persad said the court needed to
protect children and send a strong
message to child molesters, as the
abuse had long-lasting psycho-
logical effects on victims.
"There was an element of trust
placed on you and you took advan-
tage of a young girl," Rampersad
told the taxi driver.
St Bernard was represented by
Fulton Wilson while Brent Winter
In a landmark ruling, the Court
of Appeal yesterday gave detailed
advice to trial judges on the sen-
tencing of accused people, who are
allowed to plead guilty to murder.
Three appellate judges gave the
sentencing guidelines while ruling
in favour of three men who admitted
to murdering a taxi driver during a
robbery in 2002 and were sentenced
to "life imprisonment without the
possibility of parole".
The thee men---Alexander Don
Juan Nicholas, 36, Gregory Tan, 35,
and Oren Lewis, 31---became the first
people to be allowed to plead guilty
to murder in T&T s history, when
they did so before Justice Andre Mon
Desir in the San Fernando High
Court, last December.
In allowing the appeal, Justice
Paula Mae-Weekes, Alice Yorke Soo-
Hon and Rajendra Narine agreed
with the trio s lawyers that the sen-
tence imposed on the men was
"unknown to law" as there were no
provision for parole in local legisla-
Instead the court ruled that the
trio s sentence should have been 30
However, they will only serve 18
years and ten months of the sen-
tence, as the court deducted the
period they spent on remand await-
ing trial and the time they spent in
prison after being sentenced.
In a 25-page judgment, head of
the appeal panel, Weekes, noted
that a trial judge had the discretion
to impose the death penalty in
cases where the facts of the crime
could be considered the "worst of
the worst" or the "rarest of the
However, Weekes said the trio s
incident did not fall in that category,
while saying: "Our society has unfor-
tunately experienced murders far
more disturbing, revolting and
deviant than perpetrated by the
Weekes also advised that trial
judges could still pass the death sen-
tence on an accused person even if
prosecutors did not suggest it.
The judge also said trial judges
could only consider life sentences
where there was evidence that the
convicted person was beyond reha-
She noted that in that case the
trio s attorneys also provided pro-
bation officers reports which showed
they were remorseful and had shown
positive signs of rehabilitation while
on remand, awaiting trial.
"Apart from the circumstances of
the offence, what must loom large
in considering whether a life sentence
is appropriate is the possibility or
likelihood of the appellant being
rehabilitated to the extent that he
could be safely returned to society,"
According to the State s case in
their trial the trio, along with another
man, boarded Boodoo s vehicle in
Arima and pretended to be passen-
gers and then hijacked him.
Nicholas drove Boodoo s car while
the other two beat him in the back
Tan and Lewis used Boodoo s belt
to choke him. They put his body in
the trunk and went to a gas station
where they bought snacks with the
$63 they stole from him.
They then threw his body into the
Mayaro river and attempted to sell
his car for parts before being arrested.
Tan was represented by Jagdeo
Singh. Keith Scotland and Asha
Nicholas while Daniel Khan appeared
for Lewis. Dana Seetahal, SC, and
Ria Reyes appeared for the State.
After pleading guilty to murder...
Trio wins appeal
against life in jail
Brit jailed for assaulting boy
Petrotrin has set up a team to
investigate an oil spill which
occurred at its Pointe-a-Pierre
operations yesterday morning.
The team, which includes per-
sonnel from the company s Health
Safety and Environment and Cor-
porate Communications Unit, are to
determine the source of the leak.
Following the discovery, all of the
regulatory agencies, including the
Authority (EMA), the Ministry of
Energy and Energy Affairs and the
Coast Guard were informed and vis-
ited the site.
Less than 200 barrels of the oil
spilled was quickly contained near
the Pointe-a-Pierre jetty.
Late yesterday, Eric Mackie of the
Office of Disaster Preparedness and
Management (ODPM) confirmed the
situation was under control and there
was no damage to fishing vessels
operating along the Gulf of Paria.
Information about the spill came
during the San Fernando statutory
meeting when CEO Indarjit Singh
read a statement sent to the local
ODPM office by Petrotrin and a
warning for the water taxi, fishermen
and the yacht club to be on the alert.
Local Government Minister Mar-
lene Coudray also contacted the
Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo and San
Fernando Regional Corporations to
visit King s Wharf, Mosquito Creek
and Claxton Bay fishing ports to
monitor the situation.
San Fernando mayor Kazim
Hosein and a team visited King s
Wharf but there was no evidence of
oil on the waters.
President of the San Fernando
Fishing Association Salim Gool said
there was no effect on the fishing
Gillian Friday, Petrotrin s manager,
corporate communications, said in
a statement: "Loading of fuel oil
commenced at approximately 2 am
today (Monday) and ceased at 4 am.
"At 6.30 am, Petrotrin s Health
Safety and Environment Department
was informed by port and marine
services personnel within the Pointe-
a-Pierre operations that oil was
observed on the surface of the water.
A leak was discovered and the line
She said sorbent booms were
deployed at 8 am after which tugs
using an oil spill dispersant were
used to emulsify spilled oil in areas
beyond the contained area.
The incident did not disrupt the
company s operations.
Petrotrin to probe oil spill in South
they play at
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