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Son’s prayers answered

Published: 
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Case against father dismissed

The candle-light prayer of a boy for his imprisoned father which led to a fire on Boxing Day, leaving 28 people homeless, was answered yesterday when one of the cases against his father was dismissed, pushing him a step closer to freedom.

“Of course my son prayers was answered,”said Kay Greene, 32, as she walked out of the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court after the marijuana trafficking case against her husband Robert Attong and the boy’s father was thrown out.

Although Attong remained in custody yesterday, Greene said her husband was now entitled to get bail in his other matter which will be heard in the Point Fortin Magistrates Court next Wednesday.

She said her five-year-old son Jahzeel, will be very happy.

The child was using a candle at his Bayshore, Marabella home to pray for his father when it fell on a mattress, setting fire to his home. The blaze quickly spread throughout that building and neighbouring homes, leaving several people homeless. Several of them were left with no other alternative but to sleep in the nearby basketball court.

Attong, jointly charged with four men in the San Fernando Second Court with marijuana trafficking, was out on bail in this matter. He, however, was re-arrested and charged for a similar offence last March and was subsequently denied bail.

In yesterday’s matter, Attong and his co-accused were allegedly held in a car in which marijuana was found at Gulf View Link Road, La Romaine on July 22, 2008.

Attong, Clint Gibbs and Hadeed Mohammed pleaded not guilty while two others pleaded guilty and were sentenced to a term in prison. The matter was set for trial, but the prosecution was not ready.

Court prosecutor Sgt Dianath Harricharan told Magistrate Margaret Alert that the exhibit was collected from the Forensic Sciences Centre by the police complainant, PC Safraz Juman, on June 30, 2009 and he lodged it was the narcotic custodian at the San Fernando Police Station.

However, he said Juman, who is one of six policemen charged with the 2011 murders of three people in Barrackpore, did not have the exhibit. The prosecutor said its other witness, Cpl Joseph, was not present as he was on active duty.

The accused said they were ready to proceed. Noting that since 2013 the matter had been fixed for trial, the magistrate asked the prosecutor whether he could make out a prima facie case without the exhibit.

The prosecutor said he could not and the matter was subsequently dismissed.

Attong’s wife went downstairs the court where she applied for an extract to take to the Point Fortin Court for his other matter on January 18. She was confident that her husband, the father of four of her six children, will soon be reunited with them.

“This matter was keeping him back from getting bail. Seeing that he won this matter he will be given bail,” Greene said.

Before she left home, she said Jahzeel asked: “’Daddy coming home mummy? You going for him’”

Asked about their living arrangements since the fire, she said they have been staying “house to house” but presently she was by a cousin.

San Fernando mayor Junia Regrello and San Fernando West MP Faris Al-Rawi intervened and were putting things in place to rebuild the families’ homes