A La Brea man who accused the police of fabricating a marijuana possession case against him, planting the dangerous drug in the bush opposite his house, will now have to pay the State’s legal costs for defending the claim.
Danny Dhanesar now has to fork out $14,000 in costs after he failed to convince a judge that the police acted maliciously when they executed a search warrant at his home in 2014, found the dangerous drug in the bushes by a fence on the premises and charged him for possession.
In an oral decision following a virtual trial on Thursday, Justice Frank Seepersad said the police acted properly when they arrested and charged Dhanesar at his home at Sobo Circular, Chinese Village, on August 18, 2014.
In his claim before the court, Dhanesar admitted having previous convictions for marijuana possession but said in the early hours of August 18, PC Jameer Ali, who he said had “rubbed" him down before but found nothing illegal, and then Cpl Terrance Victor, came to his home to search for drugs.
He said he was not shown a search warrant and when they searched him, they found nothing on him. He also said nothing illegal was found on his mother and brother, who were also home, or in the house, but Ali pulled him out of the door, telling him, “Come. You lock up.”
Dhanesar said when he asked why he was being arrested, he was told, “You go find out in court.”
He said he never saw a search warrant and denied telling the police officers, “Ih go show yuh the thing,” when asked if he had anything mentioned in the warrant for dangerous drugs. He also denied taking the officers to the an area across the road for a black plastic bag in the fencing, that held seven packets of marijuana or telling the officers the drugs were for him to smoke.
In January 2016, a magistrate found him not guilty.
In dismissing Dhanesar’s case, Seepersad said allegations of improper motives on the part of the police went to the root of the administration of justice. He said such assertions must be made with extreme care, since they adversely affect the administrative of justice and there was no room for errant officers or the fabrication of evidence.
“These are fundamental assertions which can affect career and personal life of a police officer. Care and caution must be exercised in imputing improper motives. The fact that a case is dismissed doesn’t give rise to an entitlement to claim in malicious prosecution.
“Given the evidence adduced, there seems to be no reasonable justification for the institution of the matter before this court,” he said as he “rejected outright” Dhanesar’s claim.
He also said there was remarkable consistency in the documentary evidence supplied by the State in defence of the claim.
“The version of the police was probable and plausible…The police acted properly and in all circumstances had reasonable and probable cause (to arrest and charge). There is no evidence to impugn malice on this police officer,” the judge ruled.
Dhanesar was represented by attorney Kevin Ratiram. The State was represented by attorneys Sasha Sukhram and Tiffany Kissoon.