Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 6th 2014 Contents A9
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A Princes Town officer and a robbery suspect
were left with gunshot injuries after a shootout in
New Grant yesterday.
Up to press time details remained sketchy, but the
T&T Guardian understands that the wounded police
officer is PC Lincoln Morris, 27, of Princes Town.
He was listed in stable condition up to late last
The suspect was shot in the arm and is also in
stable condition, police said.
Initial police reports said around 3 pm, Morris,
who has ten years service and is attached to the
Princes Town Robbery Squad, received a tip-off and
went to a house at School Trace, New Grant, with
other officers to arrest a robbery suspect.
When they approached the house there was a con-
frontation between the officers and the suspect and
Morris was shot in the knee.
Police returned fire, hitting the suspect. At the
house they found two guns and ammunition, as well
as two women and a child who were detained.
Morris and the suspect were taken to the Princes
Town District Hospital where they were treated, and
then transferred to the San Fernando General Hospital
where they remain warded.
Supt James and other police officers visited the
scene and investigations are continuing.
Cop, suspect shot
in New Grant
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After years of prom-
ises that conditions at
the San Fernando Mag-
istrates Court would
improve, the majority of
administration staff, led
by Public Services Asso-
ciation (PSA) president
Watson Duke, walked
off the job yesterday .
In an immediate
response, the Judiciary
described the action as
unfortunate, but said the
work of the court was
Some 30 staff mem-
bers walked out around
11 am after being
addressed twice by Duke,
first in one of the court-
rooms and then on Har-
ris Promenade. As a
result, cash transactions
were affected, but the
magistrates dealt with
cases in the First and
Less than three weeks
ago, attorney Ainsley
Lucky complained to
Deputy Chief Magistrate
Mark Wellington about
the dilapidated condition
of the court building and
called on Duke to inter-
During the meeting
with Duke in the Second
Court, a member of the
Judiciary tried to encour-
age the staff to stay on
the job, but was met with
workers of the
Court at Harris
The staff said they
were fed up because their
complaints had fallen on
deaf ears for far too long.
In an interview with
reporters after addressing
the workers, Duke said
they would not return
until the building was
officially deemed safe for
"We have received
incessant calls from San
Court and eventually,
having spoken to my
brother Ainsley Lucky
and the workers here, I
am here today to put an
end to this blanket of
ignorance that has been
poised upon the work-
He said he came to
educate them on their
fundamental right to
protect themselves, and
under Section 15 of the
OSH Act they had the
right to refuse work if
their safety were at risk.
He said the entire
court operation would be
what the workers would
have done this morning,
we expect to bring a
court action against this
court for having workers
in a building without a
valid fire certificate,
which is a criminal
Duke said he was
appalled by what he saw
during his brief tour of
the courthouse, which
included mouldy carpets,
dirty windows, mosqui-
toes, a collapsing ceiling,
asbestos, outdated fire
extinguishers, no escape
plans and a tarpaulin on
"We were actually in
courtroom number two,
where we conducted our
meeting, for about 10-15
minutes, and there the
room was extremely hot.
There were about four or
five fans inside there.
There was a stench inside
there that to me befits
that of slaves," he
He said the court
building looked aban-
doned. "Clearly, the
colour resembles that of
a cemetery, a graveyard,
white and grey."
He promised that the
PSA would "break the
cycle of slavery" in the
Duke said he would be
serving the Chief Inspec-
tor (of OSH Agency) with
a document, after which
under the law he had 24
hours to visit and inspect
Duke was not allowed
to enter the cellblock
where the prisoners were
kept, but he called on the
officers representative to
stand up for them. He
said he overheard officers
complaining about inhu-
mane conditions and a
Duke shuts down Sando court-strap
Unfit for occupation
Expressing gratitude to Duke for heeding his call,
Lucky said he decided to take a stand after he
noticed the deterioration of the courthouse over
Chiding his legal colleagues for not standing up
with him, he said: "Since the initial announcement
that I was asking Mr Duke to intervene, not too
many members of the Judiciary lent their verbal or
their physical support. I am the only lawyer here
right now. That is bad, that is extremely bad."
Despite this, Lucky said, he would continue to
fight and called on the State to move with haste to
improve conditions there.
The Judiciary, in a statement, reiterated the
issues were insignificant and of long standing at
San Fernando, but plans were afoot to move the
court operations to another site in about 12
"The retrofitting of this building, given a
court's unique needs," it said, "should be
completed in 12 months with work commencing
"We have in the interim instituted some small
fixes to address the operations at the existing
court and to guarantee safety while also trying
as much as possible to limit the inconvenience to
While that work is being completed, the
Judiciary said, it was seeking the kind
understanding and co-operation of the members
of the public and staff.
The Judiciary said the staff would be kept
abreast of the situation as work progressed, and
the Department of Court Administration was
working "assiduously" to address any new
concerns raised by staff and other users.
JUDICIARY: PLANS TO MOVE COURT
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