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Sunday 26 May 2019
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Trini judge in Sankat case

Rhonda Babb
Rhonda Babb

THE saying “Trinis are in everything” never rang truer after Nishal Sankat, the Trinidadian student charged with stealing an air plane, was bonded US$500 on Friday by TT-born judge Rhonda Babb.

The two “met” at the Brevard County Jail after Sankat appeared before her in a video conference hearing. Sankat boarded an American Airlines A321 Airbus at the Melbourne International Airport in Orlando on Thursday morning with the intention of harming himself, Babb heard on Friday. Sankat is charged with unarmed burglary of an occupied conveyance, trespassing and grand theft of the aircraft. He will appear in court on October 18 for trial and was ordered by Babb not to go to the airport or contact anyone there.

Babb was given the 2006 outstanding achievement award for her contributions to the legal profession by the Caribbean Bar Association. In 2002, Governor Jeb Bush, the son and brother of former US presidents George H Bush and George W Bush, appointed Babb to the county court bench. Two years later the Brevard’s County Court judges unanimously elected her to serve as administrative judge.

Babb, who migrated at 13, specialised in immigration, real estate and family law while in New York. She was an administrative law judge for New York City’s Environmental Control Board and served as an arbitrator, conducting trials of small claims matters in the civil court. She was a litigator for Central Florida Legal Services from 1994 until her judicial appointment and is a member of the Caribbean Association of Women Judges.

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