Two Court of Appeal judges are to decide on the punishment of a ham radio operator who operated a radio transmitting equipment without a licence in 2007. A magistrate’s order in 2011, which led to Desi-Lee Bonterre being discharged of the two offences has been overturned by Justices of Appeal Alice Yorke-Soo Hon and Mark Mohammed.
They have substituted a guilty verdict and will consider the appropriate punishment for Bonterre in February. Bonterre was charged by Harrinath Sawh of the Telecommunications Authority (TATT) on September 12, 2007, for operating radio transmitting equipment without a licence at his home at King Street, Point Cumana in Carenage.
He was eventually granted a licence by TATT and Bonterre’s attorney Sastri Roberts asked the judges for leniency for his client, who he said worked with REACT, whose members operate amateur radios during natural disasters. Bonterre also works with the Red Cross.
In his defence at trial, Bonterre said while the police found radio-transmitting equipment at his home, he told them he was repairing some of them and once he did so, he would test them to ensure they were working properly. At his home, Bonterre had functioning and non-functioning equipment when the police came.