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Prisons Officer on weed charge, granted bail

By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Wednesday, June 19 2013

For the third time in three weeks, a Prisons Officer was arrested with contraband materials near the Golden Grove Prison in Arouca.

Prisons Officer, 22-year-Malcolm Springle of Cipero Street, San Fernando, appeared before an Arima Magistrate charged for possession of marijuana.

Dressed in a yellow jersey and brown pants — the same clothing he was reportedly held in on Monday — Springle spent most of yesterday morning in the prisoners’ docks of the Arima Court House, awaiting his matter to be called.

Late in the afternoon, he was finally brought before Magistrate Adrian Darmanie in the Third Court, when the matter was called. Unfortunately, the complainant in the matter, WPC Huggins, was not in the precincts of the building, and as such, the facts of the case were not read out.

Darmanie briefly commented on the issue, informing senior police prosecutors that such instances of non-appearance by complainants were unfair, not only to the defendants in the matter, but also to the court, as it was unable to proceed in the manner as usual.

Despite this, the Magistrate read out the charge, and Springle pleaded not guilty to the offence. In absence of any background information, and under the logical assumption that Springle would have no prior or pending matter before the courts as he was accepted as a Prisons Officer just over a year ago, Darmanie allowed the 22-year-old man to be placed on bail of $50,000 with a surety. The matter was then adjourned to July 16. Springle was held at 1 pm on Monday, by a party of officers from the Arouca CID, as he was walking into the Golden Grove Prison.

The exercise was led by Snr Supt David Abraham, with assistance from other officers inincluding Inspector Wayne Baptiste, Sgt Pitt, and WPC Huggins.

Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Abraham praised his officers, saying they were continuing the mandate of “zero tolerance” to crimes. “That zero mandate is for everyone. Not just the people on the road, but for any one who breaks the law, and that includes police officers and prisons officers.” In the past three weeks, Arouca police officers detained three prisons officers as they were entering the Golden Grove compound with contraband materials.

“They have to be praised for contributing to the significant reduction in crime that we have had in our jurisdiction for the past six months. I believe it stands at 97 percent reduction currently, as compared to the same period for last year, and this could be done only through the hard work of our officers, and I salute them,” Abraham said.

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