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Cops accused in jailbreak fail to secure bail
PC LeVon Sylvester, who is accused of illegally freeing alleged fraudster Vicky Boodram, never made eye contact with her or looked in her direction as he stood next to her in the prisoners’ dock of the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday afternoon.
The two stood less than three feet apart, both with their hands clasped in front of them, Boodram with a bandage on the left wrist and a hospital band on the other, while Sylvester stood barely able to conceal his grin.
Sylvester, along with Special Reserve Woman Police Lisa Navarro, was jointly charged with dishonestly and fraudulently aiding and procuring Boodram, who was then a person remanded in lawful custody at the Golden Grove Women’s’ Prison, Arouca, in escaping from the prison. Navaro stood as far as the prisoners’ dock would have allowed her from Sylvester as the charge was read to them.
The two officers were also charged with misbehaviour in office by uttering a forged court note, namely 1503 of 2012, in the matter of PC Edwards versus Vicky Boodram, facilitating her unlawful release.
The two officers were each granted $300,000 bail for their two charges, while Boodram was denied bail on her lone charge. All three were ordered to return to court on December 13 and the matter was transferred to the Arima Magistrate’s Court. Both offences are alleged to have occurred on November 27 at the Women’s Prison in Arouca. Although they were granted bail, both officers were unable to secure bail and spent the night in jail.
After granting bail, Acting Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle noticed Boodram’s bandaged wrist and asked if she had any complaints. Boodram, who represented herself, after informing the court she was unsure her attorney Richard Isaac would appear on her behalf, said the newest charge against her was “unfortunate.” But she was stopped by the magistrate and asked is her complaint had anything to do with her injury or her time in police custody. After Boodram answered in the negative, she was reminded of the adjournment date and ushered out the courtroom.
Sylvester was represented by Alvin Brazer while Mario Merritt represented Navarro. Both attorneys, in requesting bail, noted their clients were police officers with unblemished records. Navarro, Merritt said, was a mother of four and an officer for the past three years. Sylvester, Brazer said, was a single man who lives with his mother and had no criminal records given his profession. A media release by the T&T Police Service said both officers are now suspended pending the outcome of their matters.
Also appearing before Busby-Earle-Caddle was Roxanne Cudjoe, 32, who is charged with harbouring Boodram, also called Victoria Samlalsingh, at Cudjoe’s Lachoos Road, Penal home on November 30, with intent to impede her arrest. Cudjoe, the mother of an eight-year-old, was represented by Richard Clarke-Wills and will re-appear before a Siparia Magistrate today for bail, as police said they had no tracing of her criminal record available.
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