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Saturday 18 November 2017
Crime and Court

Benjai admits to cursing

Benjai testifies in court against police

Benjai

UPDATED:

Soca singer Benjai (Rodney Le Blanc) yesterday testified at the malicious prosecution trial against the police who arrested and charged him for using obscene language and assaulting a police officer at a fete at the San Fernando Hill in 2010.

The singer was arrested at during his performance at a fete on San Fernando Hill on December 18, 2010.

He pleaded guilty to the using obscene language charge at his first court appearance in 2010 but denied that he assaulted constable Valentine Eastman by spitting on him.

In 2014, he was found not guilty of assaulting Eastman.

Le Blanc sued the police officers who arrested him, also alleging they used excessive force and falsely imprisoned him. Presiding over his civil lawsuit in the Port of Spain High Court is Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh.

In his evidence, Le Blanc admitting to using obscene language as he was frustrated because of a faulty microphone. He said he did not know it was on at the time.

He testified that he was arrested by the police and received three blows to his leg with a baton. He also said he was made to stand in a cell at the San Fernando Police Station for four hours.

Also testifying yesterday was disc jockey Shawn Isaac, who described himself as the singer’s friend. He said Le Blanc was “visibly upset” about the “dysfunctional microphone” and cursed once before he was handcuffed by police.

The officer who charged the singer, Cpl Anthony Wolfe’s defended his colleague’s decision to handcuff Le Blanc for a charge which only carried a $200 fine since they had to take him through a crowd of 2000-5000 patrons.

Wolfe said it was Eastman who handcuffed the singer, who did not resist but went willingly with police. He also said Le Blanc was acting strangely and he believed him to be under the influence of drugs although none of the officers present at the venue searched the singer.

Wolfe said he could not say what happened between Le Blanc and Eastman to warrant him being handcuffed. Eastman. Le Blanc is being represented by attorneys Tara Thompson and Joel Roper while Latoya Moore is representing the State at the trial.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Benjai testifies at his malicious prosecution trial against the police. The singer, whose real name is Rodney Le Blanc, was arrested at a fete on San Fernando Hill in 2010 for using obscene language on stage and assaulting a police officer by spitting on him.

He had pleaded guilty to the obscene language charge and was eventually found not-guilty of the assault charge.

Le Blanc sued the police officers who arrested him, also alleging that they used excessive force.

Read the full story in tomorrow's paper.

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