As the dust continues to settle after Monday's ruling that soca superstar Machel Montano was guilty on four assault charges and using obscene language, attorney Joseph Toney has issued his own appeal for the public to "chip in to save him."
In a two-page release, titled "Judge Not Lest You Be Judged", yesterday, Toney, the former chairman of the Congress of the People, pointed out that Montano had a clean record, as he argued, "a custodial sentence in this instance will be too draconian." Instead, he asked: "Which person in our society, in his or her younger days, has not committed similar acts of folly?"
However, Toney was quick to explain: "This plea must not be interpreted as condoning Machel's behaviour on that fateful night. "He ought to have known better but let us not condemn him. He has much more to offer T&T and the world with his music and his energetic stage performances. "What I find disturbing is that some members of the public seem to want blood from a national icon."
Saying Montano had been instrumental in placing T&T on the international music map by showcasing the country's culture to the world, Toney wrote: "Machel, like all other individuals, is not an infallible being. "The due process of law has determined that he was responsible for the incidents that transpired outside the said nightclub.
"What we as a people must determine, however, is the contribution Machel has made and continues to make to culture and music in our society." Even as support for the triple-crown winner continues to pour in, it was announced that Montano had topped Tropicalfete's annual Top 100 International Caribbean songs for 2012.
The countdown chart looks at a variety of cultures, languages and rhythms from the Caribbean and selects songs that reflect the region's influence on mainstream music. Montano topped the list with this year's offering Mr Fete.