Public Service Association (PSA) President Watson Duke has signalled his intention to appeal his conviction and sentence for making a false fire report in 2017.
Duke, who was found guilty of the offence by Magistrate Avion Gill in March, was fined $1,200 during a virtual hearing, yesterday afternoon.
Even after his attorneys informed Gill that he intends to appeal, Duke took to social media to announce his decision and maintain his innocence.
“When an innocent man does no wrong, who cannot be convicted based on the facts put before the court, could be deemed guilty and forced to pay a $1,200 fine, it is a dark day for justice,” Duke said.
While Duke claimed he was confident that he would be eventually acquitted by the Court of Appeal, he suggested that he was still willing to take the case further.
“If we are not satisfied there we will go all the way to the Privy Council, where the Law Lords are still not bothered by the politics in our country will rule in our favour,” Duke said.
Duke even posted a video before his hearing before Magistrate Gill and claimed that the charge and conviction was a political conspiracy.
“I did not pull that fire alarm. I was set up,” he said, as he claimed that he was posing by the alarm for a photograph and did not pull it.
In passing the sentence on Duke, Gill said that he was of previous good character but noted that the offence was serious as it potentially affected the State’s resources.
Gill imposed to highest fine possible for the offence but did not apply the associated three-month prison term because of his good character.
In the event that Duke fails to pay the fine in a month’s time, he will be forced to serve three months in prison.
According to the charge, Duke was accused of tripping a fire alarm at the Arima Borough Corporation’s office at Hollis Avenue, Arima, during protest action on September 19, 2017.
Under the Fire Services Act, the offence carries a maximum penalty of a $1,200 fine and three months imprisonment.
The case was prosecuted by Veona Neal-Munroe. Duke was represented by Travers Sinanan.