Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 31st 2014 Contents PETER RAY BLOOD
A performance by Witco Des-
peradoes ended before it started
Just before 9 pm, moments
before the band was scheduled to
perform at the 25th anniversary
celebration of Smokey & Bunty, a
car mounted the pavement and
ploughed through the band, nar-
rowly missing patrons seated along
the Western Main Road establish-
ment in St James.
One spectator was hit and was
rushed by ambulance to hospital
in an unconscious state.
A number of the pan players
escaped serious injury, with four
reportedly going to hospital to treat
cuts and abrasions.
Many of the band s instruments
were destroyed before the car came
to a stop at the corner of Dengue
Street and Western Main Road.
Visibly shaken after the incident,
a member of Desperadoes said,
"This was a real miracle, as an
angel seemed to be with the band.
If we were playing at the time
many of us would have been killed
or seriously injured." Saturday also
marked the 25th anniversary of the
death of Desperadoes legend the
late Rudolph Charles.
Police officers, some from the
Rapid Response Unit, were quickly
on the scene. They regulated traf-
fic, whisked away the driver and
impounded the car.
Monday, March 31, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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A man walks between instruments from Witco Desperadoes after an accident
outside Smokey and Bunty, Western Main Road, St James, on Saturday night.
Car ploughs through pan side
...one hospitalised, several injured
The car which crashed into the Witco Desperadoes band outside
Smokey and Bunty's Bar, Western Main Road, St James, on Saturday
night. PHOTOS: CLYDE LEWIS
Penal police suspect suicide in
the death of father of two
Leonardo Manigroo, who was
found hanging from a rafter at
his two-storey wooden home
According to police reports
around 2.30am the 22-year-old
man was found by his common-
law wife, who was only identified
as Crystal, at his Haggard Trace,
Penal Rock Road, Penal home.
Police reports stated that Man-
igroo and his common-law wife
had been arguing on Saturday
night over their two children and
was reportedly pleading with her
to patch-up their differences.
However, the woman refused.
Yesterday police said when the
woman went to check on Man-
igroo she found him hanging from
the rafter on the upper story of
the house. District Medical Officer
Dr Rajkumar visited the scene and
pronounced Manigroo dead.
Cpl Ralph Persad is continuing
Suicide suspected in Penal death
Convicted killer Julia Esmeralda
Sellier-Ramdeen alias "J-Lo" had
her death sentence commuted to
life in prison on Friday by three of
the five Lords of the Privy Council.
Ramdeen, along with David Abra-
ham, was convicted for the 2003
killing of Carlos Phillip.
Phillip, who was employed as a
courier at the heliport in Couva, left
his home on December 23, 2003,
and attended a Christmas party at
his workplace but failed to return
Phillip, a father of two, was killed
at Ramdeen s apartment on Jern-
ingham Avenue, Charlieville, and his
body dumped in a pond at Pokher
Road, Longdenville. His vehicle was
In delivering their judgment, the
five Law Lords---Lords Neuberger,
Mance, Kerr, Sumption and Toul-
son---agreed that the conviction
should be upheld, despite Ramdeen s
submission that the issues of good
character, provocation and the sen-
tence of death were all reliable
grounds to quash the conviction.
Ramdeen, who was represented
by Edward Fitzgerald QC and Ben
Silverstone submitted that the trial
judge, Ian Stewart Brook, failed to
properly direct the jury on her good
character and he failed to address
them on provocation which resulted
in her sentence.
The Law Lords, in dismissing the
grounds of appeal of the conviction,
stated that Brook had acted well
within the remit of the law not to
instruct the jury on the issue of
provocation since Ramdeen s defense
attorneys submitted no evidence
during the trial that suggested that
Ramdeen was provoked into killing
Ramdeen s confession statement
detailed how she stabbed Phillip in
the neck because he would not stop
making noise before placing a plastic
bag over his head when he began
bleeding and wrapped him in a sheet
after he stopped moving.
"The Board therefore rejects all
three grounds of appeal. We add that
we are impressed by the way in
which the judge dealt with a difficult
case. In the view of the Board, the
way in which he did so was fair, clear
and skilful," the Law Lords said of
On the death sentence the Law
Lords were divided three to two.
Lords Mance and Sumption felt
that the Privy Council had no juris-
diction to adjudicate the sentencing
as that particular issue should have
been dealt with by either the local
courts or the President.
The remaining Law Lords high-
lighted that they exercised their
powers under Section 14(2) of the
Constitution to substitute a sentence
of life imprisonment for a death sen-
They argued that the appeal
process had delayed the final out-
come and the Appeal Court had in
the past commuted mandatory death
sentences to life imprisonment.
Privy Council commutes
J-Lo's death sentence
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