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Friday, July 25, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Unable to get bail on traffic charges, Disabled man heads to prison
Wheelchair-bound Steve Brown who escaped death in a fire which destroyed his home and damaged his car two weeks ago went to prison yesterday because he was unable to post his $30,000 bail. Brown, 52, of San Fernando, who owns a taxi, was arrested on a warrant yesterday after he failed to show up in court on January 9. He is charged with ten traffic offences, including driving without a driver’s permit, insurance, failing to wear a seatbelt and stop when directed by a police officer. The matters date back to 2010 and 2013. He was out on his own bail. Explaining why he did not show up to court, Brown told San Fernando Traffic Court Magistrate Rhianna Hosein yesterday it was difficult being a disabled person. “Sometimes when you ask people for assistance they don’t turn up.”
However, the magistrate told him he was warned on several occasions to ensure he attended court. In fact, she said, so far she had to issue four warrants for him for failing to attend court. The magistrate asked him if he had problems with transportation how come he was seen driving around in his taxi. But Brown said he doesn’t drive all the time. “I am not running from the matter,” he said. The magistrate said there was a procedure which had to be followed. “What you are saying is absolutely not reasonable,” the magistrate said before she granted him $30,000 bail. However, no one posted his bail. The prison van took him up to remand section at the Golden Grove Prison, Arouca. The matters were adjourned to February 28. Brown was rescued by passersby on January 18 after fire engulfed his home at Commissiong Street, Mon Repos. His Honda Trajet taxi which was parked in the yard was also damaged. The front of the vehicle was scorched and the windshield was shattered.