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Sunday 25 August 2019
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Ex-guard shot in PoS prison break sues State

The Port of Spain Prison is put on lockdown by police and prison officers after a prison break on July 24, 2015. 
NEWSDAY FILE PHOTO
The Port of Spain Prison is put on lockdown by police and prison officers after a prison break on July 24, 2015. NEWSDAY FILE PHOTO

A former security guard shot by police after three prisoners escaped from the Port of Spain prison in 2015 is suing the State for compensation.

Anita Bartholomew, 40, of Morvant, was a security guard with Amalgamated Security Service and was assigned to the Port of Spain General Hospital.

She was shot in the right hand and claims in her lawsuit, filed last week, that police used excessive force. She says she is still suffering psychological trauma, and had to resign in 2017. Since December, she has been working in a grocery, earning substantially less than she did as a guard.

Bartholomew wants $87,900 in compensation for loss of earnings and to pay her medical bills, damages for assault, compensation for post-traumatic stress and future earnings.

In her lawsuit, filed by attorneys Reynold Waldropt, Jeron Joseph and Tim Charriandy, she said the police acted recklessly when they shot and killed escapee Allan “Scanny” Martin.

On July 24, 2015, Martin, Hassan Atwell and Christopher “Monster” Selby shot their way out of the Port-of-Spain State Prison.

PCSherman Maynard was shot and killed during the escape, and prison officer Leon Rouse was shot and wounded.

Martin was shot dead in a guard booth at the hospital and Atwell was murdered after hiding out in east Port of Spain. Selby surrendered at the Barataria Police Station two days later and was charged with ten offences, including Maynard’s murder.

Bartholomew claims Martin had no gun when he held her in front of him as a shield and police surrounded the booth and opened fire, killing him.

She was hit in the right hand and was warded for four days. She was referred to the Psychiatric Department after she had problems sleeping and was later diagnosed with acute stress disorder.

Bartholomew’s lawyers said: “Since that incident she has had nightmares and has become fearful, stressed out, depressed and withdrawn.

“Whenever she sees police officers carrying guns she relives the entire ordeal. She has had to seek professional help for her mental condition."

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