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Friday 21 September 2018
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Mechanic wins slander lawsuit over sex allegation

Keith Worrell who won a defamation case against former San Fernando City Corporation councillor Leslie Lynch.

A man who was sued for slander for telling people his female relative was sexually assaulted by another man has defended and won the lawsuit in the High Court.

Keith Worrell, 46, a mechanic of Union Hall, San Fernando, was sued by former People’s National Movement councillor for Cocoyea Leslie Lynch for slander.

Lynch’s lawsuit stemmed from a police report which Worrel made at the San Fernando Police Station on November 21, 2012. In an affidavit filed in the High Court, Worrell reported that at about 11 pm, the female relative telephoned him and asked him to come home immediately. She related an incident to him after which they went to the San Fernando station.

In his lawsuit against Worrell, Lynch, saying he was a councillor between 1996 and 2010, said on November 22, 2012, police took him to the station for questioning. However, Lynch stated, Worrell asked him to “cut a deal” with him. Lynch said, “I did not want to go to jail, so I apologised and agreed not to speak to (the relative) and not to bring my car to fix by Worrell.”

Lynch said Worrell told the police he did not want any further action in the matter.

In September 2016, Lynch sued Worrell for slander and said in his affidavit that Worrell had told several people that Lynch had tried to rape the female relative. He listed the names of the people Worrell had spoken to and said he considered the words slanderous. As a result, the former councillor claimed, he suffered damage to his reputation.

Worrell defended the lawsuit and retained attorney Stephen Boodram, instructing Jeevan Andrew Rampersad, to represent him. He said he accepted Lynch’s apology and requested no further police action. He acknowledged that on one occasion someone asked him about the allegation against Lynch and he did say that it was true. Thereafter, Lynch sued him for slander.

In the San Fernando High Court yesterday, Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh dismissed Lynch’s lawsuit and ruled in favour of Worrell. The judge said he found Worrell’s evidence in the witness box more plausible and his version of what happened more accurate. Boodoosingh ordered Lynch to pay Worrell’s legal fees of $14,000.

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