Seven alleged gang members have appeared before the courts in South Trinidad charged with offences under the Anti-Gang Legislation. Yesterday, Shawn Rattan, Stephen Lorrie, Atiba Jacob, Ian Dover, Ken Gresham, Kerwyn Rocke all of Marabella appeared in the San Fernando Magistrates' Court charged with being gang members. Rattan, Lorrie, Jacob, Dover, Gresham and Rocke, appeared in the First Court before Senior Magistrate Rajendra Rambachan. They were charged by Cpl Dale Ramroop, PC Narine Bisnath, WPC Gibson and PC Gordon. Jason Simmons, of Monkey Town, appeared before Princes Town Senior Magistrate Indrani Cedeno. He was charged by Sgt Don Gajadhar.
Rambachan, presiding over an afternoon sitting, read the charges to each of the six men held at various locations, including Bayshore West, Union Park East, Marabella and Hubert Rance Street and Lambie Street, Vistabella on August 24, that they are gang members contrary to Section 5:1 A of Act 10 of 2011, the Anti-Gang law. Rambachan, who stressed that he was reading the charges as laid, told police prosecutor Sgt Gordon Maharaj to look at the wording of the charges laid. He raised a concern over the charges since he said they were laid as a complaint as opposed to 'on information'. Rambachan adjourned all matters to August 30 "for the State to decide whether it wishes to lay an 'on information' rather than a complaint." He told the men they are not entitled to bail since they are charged with a non-bailable offence under Section 5 subsection 6 of the Bail Act as amended by Act 11 of 2011.
"In 120 days after the reading of this charge, if the matter has not started with evidence being taken, you are entitled to go to a judge in chambers. No judge or magistrate can grant you bail," he explained. Attorney Shaun Tikasingh, together with attorney Subhas Panday, appeared for Rattan and Lorrie. Dover and Rocke were separately charged indictably with possession of marijuana. Maharaj said they will proceed with the charges as laid and Rambachan explained to the men that because the narcotics offence is "linked" to the gang offence the charges will proceed indictably. Simmons, a labourer of Cacique Street, Princes Town, appeared before Princes Town First Court Magistrate Indrani Cedeno, charged with being a gang member.