Trinis fined for “excessive use of force”

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada – Chief Magistrate, Teddy St Louis, Wednesday said the Trinidadian crew of a Barbados-owned vessel had resorted to “excessive use of force” when they sought to have two brothers, including Grenada’s World Javelin champion, leave the vessel last week.

The magistrate told the accused men that their actions could not be justified although a request had been made for Anderson Peters and his brother, Kiddon, to leave the Harbour Master party boat on August 10.

The four men – the captain, Noel Cooper, 42; deckhand, John Alexander, 55; and sailors, Mikhail John, 35 and Sheon Jack, 28, had on Monday pleaded guilty to the charges of causing harm and grievous harm to the brothers, including Anderson, who earlier this month won gold at the World Championship in the United States and a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in the United Kingdom.

The charges stem from a brawl on board the Harbour Master with video recording posted on social media showing the athlete being throw into the sea.

The Chief Magistrate fined each of the crew members EC$3 500 for causing grievous harm to be paid forthwith or in default jailed for one year.

On the charge of causing harm with violence they were each fined EC$2  000 also to be paid forthwith or in default, spend six months in jail.

The four crew members were among six people originally arrested by the police. But on Monday, the prosecution withdrew the charges against 45-year-old sailor, Lance Wiggins, while the other person, 40-year old Abiola Benjamin, who was described as the cruise operations manager on the vessel, also had the charges dropped after video footage was reviewed and the law enforcement authorities indicated that he was trying to separate the men who were engaged in the scuffle.

Apart from the criminal charges, the Trinidadians are also facing a civil lawsuit with the Javelin champion securing the services of attorney Derick Sylvester.

According to official court documents sent to the Chief Immigration Officer, the Grenada Ports Authority, and Comptroller of Customs, the Harbour Master vessel should not be cleared for sailing until they individually receive instructions from the Acting Registrar of the Supreme Court. (CMC)

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