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Seven cops charged with misbehaving
Seven police, including a female officer, were granted a total of $350,000 bail yesterday in connection with an incident last December when a Moruga teenager suffered burns while in custody at the Princes Town Police Station. Warrants were executed on each of them yesterday at the San Fernando Police Station shortly before they were taken to the San Fernando Magistrate’s Court jointly charged with misbehaviour in public office.
The accused police are:
• Cpl Roger Reid, 45, of Siparia and Constables
• Bryan Dookie, 34, of Barrackpore.
• Andre Watson, 34, of Couva.
• Simon Marshall, 27, of Point Lisas.
• Pradeep Ramadhin, 26, of Rio Claro.
• Atiba Teesdale, 22, of Princes Town
• WPC Alena Ambrally, 29, of Barrackpore.
At the time of the incident they were attached to the Princes Town Police Station. The charge stemmed from an incident at the station when Jamerson John, 18, suffered burns to his back, torso, leg and genital area. The teenager alleged that methylated spirit was thrown on him before he was set on fire. But the police claimed he had spilt methylated spirt on his clothes and was passing by scented candles in the station when his clothes caught fire.
The accused police were detained by the members of the Professional Standards Bureau almost two weeks ago and placed on identification parades, but subsequently released pending further inquiries. Yesterday around 12. 15 pm they were transported in three police vehicles which drove under the courthouse in the cellblock area. Shortly after the seven appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington who read the charge to them.
The charge was that as serving police they misbehaved in public office on December 24, 2013 by unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on John while he was in custody at the station. The six policemen were represented by attorney Richard Valere while Sasha Paul Singh appeared for Ambrally. Applying for bail, the attorneys said the accused police had no previous convictions or pending matters.
Valere said Reid has 25 years’ service and has three children; Dookie has 15 years’ service and is the father of one; Watson has 13 years’ service and is the father of four; Mitchell had three years’ service, Ramadhin has three years and Teesdale has two years’ service. Singh said Ambrally has four-and- half years’ service. Court prosecutor Cleyon Seedan did not object to bail. The magistrate granted each $50,000 bail with surety or in the alternative a cash deposit of $30,000.
The case was adjourned to tomorrow and transferred to Princes Town Magistrate’s Court. Neither John nor his mother Sherma Atwar was in court.