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Saturday, April 19, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Ian Alleyne to be sentenced Tuesday (with CNC3 video)
Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne will return to court next Tuesday for sentencing. Despite a stirring plea by his attorney yesterday that he be reprimanded and discharged or given community service, prosecutor George Busby urged Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar to ensure the punishment suited the crime and would act as a deterrent to others.
Busby said, “In this country, we have a problem with crime; we have a problem with detection; and we have a problem with prosecution. When the courts are too lenient, it sends the wrong message and does not deter others.” Alleyne, who turned 42 yesterday, reappeared in the Port-of-Spain Eighth Court, charged with three offences stemming from a televised video showing the rape of a 13-year-old girl in 2011.
The prosecution yesterday produced five CDs of the Crime Watch episodes showing the incident and identifying the victim and her mother in a live interview. Ayers-Caesar said she wants to view the last CD. Addressing the court, attorney Om Lalla described Alleyne as “a social-service worker and servant of the people”, of good character and had not wasted the court’s time.
Lalla said Alleyne was contrite and remorseful over the mistake which occurred as a result of improper editing. Although there were strict editing policies in place at the television station which airs Alleyne’s nightly programme, Lalla said, the “sad and disgusting clip” was aired as a result of Alleyne “acting with his own personnel and not seeking the insight of CCN’s editorial staff.”
Busby urged the magistrate to consider the aggravating factors, saying no desire for justice should trump a breach of the law. CCN executives are represented by attorneys Sophia Chote, SC, Michelle Solomon-Baksh and Trevor Clarke.
Alleyne was charged under Section 32 (2) of the Sexual Offences Act, which makes it an offence to reveal the identity of a rape victim during a broadcast. The charges stem from a video which was aired on three consecutive days on CCN TV6 from October 24 - 26, 2011. Alleyne, who initially pleaded not guilty on April 14, 2012, stunned the prosecution on March 6, when he entered a guilty plea to the three charges. His attorneys, Om Lalla and Derrick Balliram, did not make public the reason for the sudden change.
Alleyne, who is also charged with resisting arresting officer ASP Ajith Persad in the execution of his duties, has maintained a not-guilty plea in respect of this charge. CCN faces three similar charges under the Sexual Offences Act, as well as six charges under the Telecommunications Act for alleged breaches of its licence and concession which were issued by the Telecommunications Authority TATT). CCN maintains its not-guilty plea in relation to all the charges.
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