Four freed of stealing $.3m ultrasound machine from hospital

- File photo
- File photo

Four men who, seven years ago, were charged with stealing an ultrasound machine from the San Fernando general hospital, were freed on Wednesday.

Senior magistrate Jo-Anne Connor ruled the failure by the State to lead evidence that identified the machine as having been taken from the hospital without permission, falls short of establishing the essential element of the prosecution's case.

The State submitted, however, such evidence was inferred and it was not necessary to lead it directly from one of its prosecution witnesses.

Jordon Harripersad, 44, a taxi driver; Ramesh Bisram, 34; Devan Singh, 29, a driver; Chenneth Harrypersad, all from Gasparillo, were charged with stealing the machine valued $342,732.34, between August 7 and 8, 2013.

Cpl Carl Fortune laid the charge which contended that the men arrived with a truck at the hospital on Lady Hailes Avenue, and took the machine. It was never found by police.

State attorney Ambay Ramkelawan led evidence from several witnesses in a paper committal preliminary inquiry before Connor. Attorneys Ian Brooks and Shaun Teekasingh represented the four.

The attorneys made joint legal submissions in a no-case submission, that despite the prosecution leading evidence from eight witnesses, including three from the South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA), it failed to lead evidence that the machine was taken without consent.

The attorneys told Connor, it is an integral element in prosecuting the criminal charge even if there were confession statements from the accused. They contended, the alleged confessions did not contain evidence that the machine the accused allegedly took is the machine that was misssing.

Ambay countered that it was not necessary for the prosecution to lead such because there was sufficient evidence for the court to infer that the machine taken from the hospital, was the one missing and taken without the SWRHA's permission.

She referred the magistrate to evidence of the police report and the reports of the management about the missing machine.

Ramkelawan submitted that the magistrate must infer from those reports, that the SWRHA did not give anyone permission to take the machine and therefore it was stolen.

Connor, however, upheld Brooks and Teekasingh's submissions.


"Four freed of stealing $.3m ultrasound machine from hospital"

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