Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 29th 2014 Contents A9
Thursday, May 29, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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SKYON POLYCARBONATE AWNINGS
The trial of 12 men accused
of murdering businesswoman
Vindra Naipaul-Coolman took
an unexpected turn yesterday
with Justice Malcolm Holdip
being forced to discharge a
Holdip did not reveal the rea-
son for the decision during his
brief address to the remaining
jurors and alternates yesterday
However, he hinted at the
cause while reiterating the pre-
trial directions he gave at the
start of the trial in late March.
While discussing the purpose
and role of attorneys objections
and corresponding legal argu-
ments that usually take place in
the absence of the jury, Holdip
"All I ask is that there be a
measure of restraint when
expressing how you may feel
about having to go upstairs."
He advised that as the judge
he had a duty to monitor their
conduct in the courtroom but
they were free to have their frank
discussions in their deliberation
room as the supervision of that
area was not in his remit.
"I am not telling you to go
upstairs and fight," Holdip said
He said although he did not
wish for them to be constantly
asked to leave the court for the
objections, such was customary
in criminal trials.
"Please recognise that this is
part of what a trial entails. It is
not like what you see on tele-
vision," Holdip said.
The issue with the juror was
first raised last week during the
cross-examination of the tenth
witness in the trial, acting Cpl
Bruce James, a police photog-
rapher who took photos of evi-
dence collected during a police
exercise in La Puerta, Diego
Martin, almost a month after
Naipaul-Coolman was abducted
at her home in December 2006.
After discharging the juror and
allowing one of the six alternates
sitting on the trial to take his
place on the 12-member jury,
Holdip asked the group if they
felt they could continue to sit
on the trial in a fair manner in
light of their colleague s dis-
"Nobody has a problem, you
can go on with the case as nor-
mal," the jury foreman told the
court after consulting with his
Holdip instructed the jury to
refrain from drawing adverse
conclusions from the decision
on the juror s discharge.
"Juror number two is no
longer with us and the circum-
stances of why are not anything
you have to be speculating
about. It was a legal decision
which the court had taken,"
He then asked the jurors to
be impartial, unbiased and to
refrain from being prejudiced
against the accused men and
witnesses during the duration
of the trial.
"Your role is to be objective
as humanly possible," Holdip
The trial continues this morn-
ing with the continued cross-
examination of Cpl James.
A High Court judge has ordered
the TECU Credit Union to pay $.5
million to a customer who was seri-
ously injured after he slipped and
fell inside its Marabella building six
Deryck Christopher, 48, of New
Grant, who now has to use a cane to
walk, sued the company for negligence
after the incident.
When the matter came up for trial
in the San Fernando Civil Court last
week, both his attorney, Robin
Ramoutar, instructed by Ria Joseph,
and TECU s attorney Roger Kawals-
ingh said the parties had reached a
Damages were ordered by consent
and Master Martha Alexander ordered
a stay of execution to June 12.
As a result of the injuries to his
knees, Christopher was bedridden for
six months and was like a "helpless
baby" for almost a year. He suffered
permanent/partial disability from 40
to 50 per cent.
Doctors had recommended surgery
but Christopher said he could not
afford it since he has not been able
Before the incident Christoper was
a heavy equipment operator/foreman
with Construction and Industrial
Equipment Repairs Ltd.
He received physiotherapy and was
assessed by the Orthopaedic Clinic
at the San Fernando General Hospital,
where surgery was recommended to
repair his bilateral quadriceps tendons,
Christopher said the entire expe-
rience was very humiliating, made
him severely depressed and has affect-
ed his personal and family life. He
still suffers pain when walking and
cannot drive manual vehicles.
The 12 men before the jury
and Justice Malcolm Holdip
are: Allan "Scanny" Martin,
twin brothers Shervon and
Devon Peters, siblings Keida
and Jamille Garcia and their
older brother Anthony Dwayne
Gloster, brothers Marlon and
Earl Trimmingham, Ronald
Armstrong, Antonio Charles,
Joel Fraser and Lyndon James.
A 13th man, Raphael Williams,
was charged with the crime
but died in prison in 2011 of
complications from sickle-cell
WHO'S IN COURT
Their legal team includes
Ulric Skerritt, Joseph Pantor,
Selwyn Mohammed, Lennox
Sankersingh, Ian Brooks,
Wayne Sturge, Mario Merritt,
Richard Valere, Kwesi Bekoe,
Colin Selvon, Vince Charles,
Christian Chandler, Delicia
Helwig and Alexia Romero.
The prosecution team includes
Senior Counsel Israel Khan and
Gilbert Peterson, who are
leading the prosecution team
are being assisted by senior
state prosecutors Joy Balkaran
and Kelly Thompson.
Man injured in fall
awarded $.5 million
Christopher, in his affidavit, recalled
that on June 25, 2008 he went to
TECU to conduct a transaction and
was walking along the corridor on the
main floor when he slipped on the tiled
floor which appeared to be wet.
Christopher said he fell, landing
awkwardly on his buttocks and knees.
"Upon impact with the floor I
screamed out as I felt instant pain in
both of my knees. I made several
attempts to move my legs to a
forward position in an attempt to
stand, but I was unsuccessful.
"I then used my hands to take hold
of each leg individually and forced
them into a forward position. Moving
my legs from a backward to a forward
position was excruciatingly painful."
Apart from the operations manager,
who inquired how he had fallen and
what business he came to transact, he
said no other employee came to his
assistance as he sat on the floor
waiting for an ambulance.
Even after he was discharged from
the hospital, he said he still
experienced severe pain in both legs
and back and could not walk.
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