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Ian Alleyne sentence next Tuesday

By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Tuesday, March 12 2013

THE Chief Magistrate will pass sentence on TV6 talk show host Ian Alleyne next Tuesday, after having heard submissions yesterday from the defence attorney and state prosecutor in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court.

Appearing yesterday before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar, in the Eighth Court, Alleyne maintained his guilty pleas to three of four charges laid against him. The three charges, laid under the Sexual Offences Act, stemmed from the airing of a video depicting the rape of a 13-year-old on three different dates on the television station in October 2011.

Alleyne maintained his not guilty plea to the fourth charge for allegedly resisting being arrested by ASP Ajith Persad.

Caribbean Communications Network (CCN), the parent company of TV6, is facing nine charges under the Sexual Offences Act as well as six charges under the Telecommunications Act for alleged breaches of the broadcast licence and concessions issued by the Telecommunications Authority (TATT). The company had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Yesterday, State prosecutor George Busby read out the facts that photographic images were first aired on October 24, 2011, on the programme which began at 6 pm and then again at 10.30 pm.

The court heard that the following day video clippings were aired of the rape as well as interviews with the victim and her mother at 6 pm and 10.30 pm.

Side profile of their faces were shown although their backs were to the camera.

On October 26, there was a rerun of the progarmme in which persons were able to identify the girl, the prosecutor added.

Police subsequently obtained a warrant, searched CCN’s premises and recovered five discs which contained footage of the rape. Busby tendered the five discs as exhibits to the court yesterday.

Alleyne’s attorney Om Lalla said his client was sorry that the footage was aired without proper editing. Describing the footage as outrageous, sad and disgusting, the attorney added that the broadcast was not intended to hurt or embarrass anyone.

Instead he suggested that it was intended to bring redress to the matter and to apprehend the perpetrators. Lalla told the Chief Magistrate, the girl’s mother had made several reports to police but nothing was done and therefore she turned to Alleyne.

He admitted that Alleyne should have blocked the faces of the daughter and mother.

He said the footage has offended persons so much so that Alleyne’s relatives have had to reside “outside the jurisdiction” because of death threats he received.

The attorney asked the magistrate for mercy and to not impose a custodial sentence. Lalla also raised concerned about the impact of a custodial sentence on VISA requirements.

In response, Busby noted that when the courts are too lenient, it sends the wrong message to society. Busby said that he is tired of hearing about the impact of criminal records on VISA applications.

After listening to both sides, the magistrate adjourned the case to March 19 saying that she wanted to consider the submissions as well as to review one of the discs.

According to the Sexual Offences Act, Alleyne faces a fine of $25,000 and five years imprisonment.

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