The murder of Shannon Banfield, whose body was found in a storage area upstairs IAM and company on Charlotte Street Thursday afternoon, stands as a tragic footnote to local commemorations of 16...
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Man found not guilty of sacrilege
A man who was accused of breaking into a mosque was freed on a sacrilege charge yesterday. Jason Blackburn, 35, who has addresses in Pleasantville and Point Fortin, walked free after a jury in the San Fernando Third Assizes found him not guilty after deliberating for almost two hours. The State’s only piece of evidence against Blackburn was an oral statement he allegedly made to the police.
The prosecution called five witnesses during the trial, which was heard before Justice Maria Wilson. Police complainant PC Barrie Ramcharran said on March 3, 2006 Abdool Samadh, the caretaker of the Ramatally Park Asja Majid in Fyzabad, reported a break-in and theft at the mosque.
Samadh said he locked up the mosque after prayers on February 24 but when he returned later that day he discovered a padlock on the burglarproof gate leading to the storeroom was missing. When he went inside, he found a microphone, a transmitter and $300 in cash missing. When Ramcharran went to the mosque, he said he found the accused in the bathroom and took him to the police station.
At the police station, Ramcharran said, Blackburn told him: “Boss, I real sick and I can’t work and I had to get money to pay the court. Give me a little chance.” Blackburn did not give evidence or call witnesses but his defence, through his attorneys Marissa Bubb and Saira Lakhan-Rooplal, was that he told the police he knew nothing about the crime.