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Saturday 21 September 2019
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Illiterate man to sue cops

A LAVENTILLE man, who admitted he was illiterate, and who was acquitted by a Port of Spain jury earlier this week, intends to sue the State for malicious prosecution.

Kent “Bulintyme” Isaac, 42, spent seven years in prison awaiting his trial for allegedly kidnapping a taxi driver and robbing him of his taxi and personal items on September 16, 2002, at Fitt Street, Woodbrook.

Issac was on trial before Justice Carla Brown-Antoine in the Port of Spain High Court. A nine-member jury found him not guilty of both charges after deliberating for just under an hour.

The prosecution’s case, presented by state attorney Veona Neal-Munroe, was hinged on an alleged confession statement Isaac gave to the police.

Testifying for the State was Asst Supt Avalon Frank, who said Isaac dictated the statement in the presence of acting Insp Lennard Gay, now deceased, the day after the alleged incident. The police also contended Isaac read back the statement to them.

At the trial, Isaac’s attorney Fulton Wilson challenged the police’s evidence, saying his client was illiterate, and therefore could not read nor write. Wilson maintained Isaac should never have been charged because it was clear that the police fabricated the confession statement.

Two prison officers, Ravindra Ali and Dennis Sebro, who were teaching Isaac to read and write in 2013 in prison, confirmed that it was impossible for Isaac to read the five-page statement.

Isaac’s sister Patricia, who testified for the defence, also said her brother could not read or write, had left school in Standard Three and had been hustling on the Beetham landfill for some time.

Also at the trial, Wilson pointed out that the handwriting of the alleged confession statement was suspicious, as it appeared to have changed throughout, suggesting that more than one person wrote it.

The defence also advanced that the alleged victim, Wayne Lezama, was unable to identify his attacker.

After being freed of the charges, a relieved Isaac, the father of five, said he intends to sue the State for compensation for the time he wrongfully spent in prison. He said while he was in prison he was stabbed in the face, chest and back by another prisoner.

He also said that while was incarcerated, his son was murdered and he was unable to attend the funeral to bid him a final farewell.

This story was originally published with the title "Illiterate man to sue State" 

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