A HIGH Court judge yesterday awarded damages to two men after their attorney successfully argued a case of wrongful arrests and imprisonment against the State.
Justice Margaret Mohammed delivered the judgement in favour of Richard Caesar and Osa Chima.
The judge ordered the State to pay Caesar and Chima $150,000 each in costs with interest for general damages. She awarded each claimant $20,000. The State must also pay them special damages.
Caesar lives at Edward Trace, Basse Terre Village in Moruga, where Chima was visiting and helping with renovations to the premises. On February 19, 2010, the men contended that they finished working late and so Chima spent the night at the premises.
At about 2.30 am the following day, they were awoken by police banging on the window and Police claiming to have a warrant, which Caesar said was never read out completely to him. The men contended that police planted the gun, ammunition and marijuana on the premises. Caesar and Chima said police bodily dragged them from the house and roughly handcuffed them. Police put them in a police vehicle and took them to Princes Town Police Station.
Both men claimed damages for malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and wrongful arrest, and for assault and battery.
The men said while they were in custody, police did not allow them to call an attorney or family, and they protested their innocence.
On February 23, 2010, Caesar and Chima appeared before a magistrate, who denied them bail. After three months in remand, they received bail. On October 30, 2012, the court dismissed the matters against them.
In the 40-page judgment, Mohammed said according to the defence, police denied assaulting and beating the claimants. The State contended that police searched the premises and found the gun and ammunition under a pillow on a bed and the marijuana “by the bedhead.”
Defence attorney Robin Ramoutar represented the men. Attorneys Keisha Prosper and Daniella Boxhill, instructed by Kezia Redhead and Diane Katwaroo, represented the State.