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Saturday 19 October 2019
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Cop arrested after appearing in court

A police officer in the Western Division was arrested on Thursday in the lobby of the Port of Spain Magistrates Court by the police Professional Standards Bureau.

The arrest was made minutes after he and his brother appeared before the deputy Chief Magistrate on charges of misbehaviour in public office.

The incident unfolded after the policeman left the courtroom on the first floor of the St Vincent Street courthouse, surrounded by scores of his colleagues from the division, who were in court in support for the brothers.

The policeman was approached by an investigator of the PSB, who told him he was wanted in connection with some inquiries.

The investigator suggested they hold discussions elsewhere, rather than the corridor outside the courtrooms on the first floor, since the crowd there at the time was too big and intimidating.

In the lobby, the alleged victim gave his complaint in the policeman’s presence and that of his attorney, Larry Williams, after which the officer was taken into custody and to the PSB’s offices in Port of Spain.

Earlier, brothers Jonathan and Justin Bart, both of Cascade Road, Cascade, were charged with offences arising out of an incident with a watchman of the Port of Spain City Corporation on March 18, 2018, in which they made false allegations against the man.

Jonathan Bart, 26, has five years’ service and was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Unit of the western division. Justin Bart, 24, had four years’ service and was assigned to the division’s task force.

Both men appeared before deputy Chief Magistrate Cherril-Anne Antoine where the charges were read to them. Since the charges were laid indictably, neither man was allowed to enter a plea.

The brothers were allowed to continue on the $100,000 station bail that had been granted to them by a justice of the peace and ordered to return to court on January 31 for a status hearing.

Police prosecutor Insp Callister Charles told Antoine the police file will have to be sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for a state attorney to be appointed and he expected this to be done by December 10.

According to the allegations against the brothers, they confronted the watchman at the Trust Mart grocery at Western Main Road, St James, assaulted and abused him.

It is also alleged that they followed the man, who said he was going to report them, to the Central Police Station in Port of Spain and, while he was making his report, they arrested him.

The 30-year-old man was kept in custody and was charged the next day with using obscene language, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duties.

The PSB investigated and on Monday arrested both brothers.

On Wednesday, the DPP gave advice to the police and Cpl Lawrence Joefield charged both officers.

The three charges against the watchman will be discontinued by the DPP next week.

The investigation was led by head of the PSB ACP Totaram Dookhie, assisted by Supt Anthony Remy, Insp Sheridon Hill, Cpl Paul Mohammed and PC Ian Mitchell.

Also representing the Barts is attorney Chelsea John.

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