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Double blow for Ann

Saturday, January 25, 2014
Crime Watch
Antonio Nathan Persad, seven, who has a rare skin condition called epidermolysis bullosa.

For Ann Edwards, 41, from St Thomas Village, Chaguanas, 2013 ended on a sour note after her LG cellphone was stolen on December 12 at the Chaguanas business where she worked as a cashier. But within two days of airing footage of the theft, Ian Alleyne, along with Chaguanas police, had tracked down Naresh Gill. The Kelly Village man was fined $1,000 at the Chaguanas Magistrates Court on Monday, and ordered to pay Edwards for her phone by month-end. 


When contacted last week, Edwards insisted that she wanted her phone and memory card back, but noted that the culprit said he had destroyed it. A female relative told Crime Watch that Edwards is also suffering from migraines and is unable to rest. She is awaiting a CT scan to determine whether there is internal damage to her organs. The family member was disappointed that Edwards would not get her phone back, but thanked Alleyne and the Chaguanas police for solving the case.


Alleyne commented that this case was a walk in the park for him, adding, “My sources spread so far and wide that it is usually a matter of minutes before I solve a case such as this one. To me it is important that petty criminals are brought to justice, before they move on to bigger crimes and make the crime situation in this country worse.” 



Sadly, the situation was worse for Ann Edwards, as she was hospitalised after being involved in a traffic accident at the O’Meara Road, Arima, on January 12. A drunk driver ran the traffic light and ploughed into the vehicle in which Edwards was a passenger. As of earlier this week, her legs were paralysed, and it is unknown whether her condition will be permanent.  



Help for Antonio 

Antonio Nathan Persad dreams of being Prime Minister when he grows up. This seven-year-old student of Charlieville Presbyterian Primary School was diagnosed at birth with a rare genetic skin disorder, epidermolysis bullosa. Persad’s skin is very fragile and any type of mild trauma, such as contact with clothing or bedding, can cause blood-filled blisters to form. 


People with this genetic disorder are prone to deformities, infections and premature death, and are at a higher risk for developing some types of cancer—a few of the conditions that can significantly lower their life expectancy. Despite his condition, Persad is as active as other children his age. While waiting to appear on Crime Watch, he could be seen climbing on the waiting room furniture. Sandra Basheer, a single mother of two, had to learn how to manage her son’s condition.  


When asked whether raising Antonio alone has been difficult, Basheer said, “It was a bit hard, because it was due to Antonio’s condition that his father left, but I said he is my son and I have to see about him.” After the programme Alleyne disclosed that he was particularly touched by this case, and added, “As the child said, he could be the next Prime Minister of T&T, and to help him along I will do everything in my power to ensure that he gets the best medical attention possible.”  


On viewers’ recommendations, an appointment was set up with a doctor at a prominent health facility in west Trinidad for Persad, to be paid for by Alleyne. Rajiv Dipnarinesingh, of Dipnarinesingh’s Tours & Travel, also offered to provide Persad and his mother with airline tickets in an effort to facilitate treatment abroad.  


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