Television personality Ian Alleyne yesterday made a public appeal to friends and fans to assist him in helping to cover the $748,000 debt he incurred from defaming businessman Shaun Sammy on his Crime Watch programme last year.
In a video posted on his Facebook page hours after High Court marshalls and Sammy's attorneys Om Lalla and Derrick Balliram served a writ of execution at his home at Rivulet Road, Couva, seizing electronic appliances and furniture, Alleyne appeals to fans for donations.
"If we have to raise the $748,000 we will raise it. There are people who will support me, people will give. We will open up the new studio and I will post the bank account number and even with $20 we would come back out," a teary-eyed Alleyne said.
The early morning visit to his home kicked off a morning of legal woes for Alleyne who later had a warrant issued for his arrest for failing to appear in court for an unrelated matter.
According to reports, as the court staff were still in the process of sifting through Alleyne's belongings, Alleyne was appearing before Senior Magistrate Joanne Connor in the Chaguanas Magistrates' Court around 9 am for the continuation of his case for three criminal charges arising out of an incident at the home of car dealer Sheron Sukhdeo in February.
Alleyne was charged then with resisting arrest, using annoying language and obstructing a police officer, all allegedly during a confrontation with his former associate turned television host, Insp Roger Alexander.
Connor initially delayed the hearing of Alleyne's case as she dealt with other cases before her but when it was eventually recalled an hour later, Alleyne was not present.
A search was made of the courthouse before Connor decided to issue a warrant for his arrest on the advice of police prosecutors.
The magistrate eventually withdrew the warrant after Alleyne returned to court around noon, apologised to the court and explained that he had to leave earlier to address the situation at his home.
In another Facebook post, done after the warrant was withdrawn, Alleyne suggested the serving of writ of execution on the date of his court date was not a coincidence. Indirectly refering to Alexander, Alleyne alleged: "The said gentleman said last night on television that I have something to get when I go home. They knew that the court case was today and they said let's embarrass Ian."
Alleyne thanked Connor for withdrawing the warrant.
"Thank God good sense prevailed and she (Connor) understood what was going on," he said.
While Alleyne's posts each received over 1,800 "likes" and attracted hundreds of "shares" and comments from social media users, he was also criticised by some, who posted photographs of an incomplete house at Endeavor Gardens, Chaguanas.
Attempts to speak to Alleyne at his new studio at Montrose, Chaguanas, which is currently under construction, were unsuccessful as one of Alleyne's employees said he was not there. Several calls were placed to his cellphone but he did not answer up to late yesterday.
Legal sources told the T&T Guardian that the seized items, which included a television, stove and refrigerator, will be held in storage for a week and would be sold at a public auction in the event Alleyne did not clear the debt by then.
Act to embarrass me
With tears running down his face, Alleyne accused attorney Om Lalla of unfairly targetting him by sending bailiffs to his home yesterday.
In an emotionally charged Facebook "Live" video, Alleyne showed an empty living room and kitchen after his furniture and appliances were seized.
Standing barefooted in the middle of his empty living room, with his young son hovered in and out of the frame, Alleyne told him to pick up his belongings off the floor. As the young boy asked questions about what items were taken from the house, Alleyne broke down in tears.
He slammed Lalla for refusing to give into pleas made to stop the levy, saying it was meant to embarrass him. He was adamant though he would not be held down by his circumstances and encouraged his fans to contribute to his bank account as he is seeking to open his own studio.
On August 28, his Crime Watch programme was taken off the air after CNC 3 cut ties with him. Alleyne has continued his programme though, using the Facebook live feature at crime scenes and racking up thousands of views.
In a brief interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday morning, Alleyne said the property was owned by his parents. He said he was not at the house when the levy took place but later in his video he said he, his wife and his son were all asleep when the bailiffs came.
Weighing in on the incident yesterday, attorney Subhas Panday said it seemed as though the levy was only done to embarrass Alleyne. He said he was doubtful the furniture and appliances which were levied could pay the debt owed by Alleyne.
Panday said, however, that it seemed law could not be separated from politics, adding the former "best buds" had been going at each other for sometime now.