Forgiveness and freedom
By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Friday, October 5 2012
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Magistrate Cheron Raphael...
A MAN who admitted to beating another man after police failed to heed his cry for help, shortly after being robbed by the beaten man, was forgiven and set free by a magistrate who later had harsh words for officers of the Central Police Station in Port-of-Spain.
Port-of-Spain Magistrate Cheron Raphael warned Bradley Doyle, 24, that no matter how frustrated he gets, he cannot take the law into his own hands and go about attacking people, even when police ignore his (Doyle) pleas for help.
Doyle, a former security guard, appeared before the magistrate in the Third Court, charged with assaulting a 33-year-old man and possession of a length of iron with intent to commit an indictable offence, namely to wound. He pleaded guilty to both charges laid by PC John Baptiste of the Port-of-Spain CID.
Prosecutor Sgt Henderson Andrews said at about 9.30 am on Wednesday, the man was at Victoria Square in Port-of-Spain when Doyle dealt him several blows with a piece of iron.
Sgt Andrews said a man ran to the Central Police Station and filed a report. Doyle later entered the same police station and on seeing the man speaking to police, shouted out, “I will lash you. Where is my bag? ”
Officers later disarmed Doyle, who told them that the man had stolen his bag. Police took the beaten man for medical attention while Doyle was charged. Doyle, who was unrepresented by an attorney, told Raphael that on Tuesday he was not feeling well and an ambulance took him to Port-of-Spain General Hospital.
The following day, Doyle said, he went to the NIDCO car park on St Vincent Street in Port-of- Spain and put a bag containing personal items including a security guard uniform, National ID card and bank cards, on the ground, while he urinated nearby.
Without warning, a man snatched the bag and ran off. Doyle said he went to the Central Police Station and filed a report, but instead of quickly going in search of the man who snatched the bag, officers gave Doyle a “stolen items inventory” form to fill out.
“I felt hurt that no officer took me on when I said that I had just gotten robbed,” Doyle said as he produced the inventory form for Raphael’s perusal. Doyle said he left the station, went to a cemetery where he found and took up a piece of iron before going in search of the man and his (Doyle) bag.
Doyle said when he finally caught up with the man in Victoria Square, he dealt the latter several blows with the length of iron and demanded his bag.
“This man (Doyle) went for help from the police. It was laziness (on the part of the police). All they had to do was send out a patrol to go find the suspect. Why did they just give him a piece of paper and let him go? It is things like this that frustrate law-abiding citizens and compel them to take matters into their own hands. He left the police station, searched for and found the man,” Raphael said.
She told Doyle that he cannot take the law into his own hands. “What would you have done if you had killed the man,” the magistrate asked. She said that instead, Doyle should have visited Gillian Lucky, director of the Police Complaints Authority and complain about the inaction of the police.
Raphael later reprimanded and discharged Doyle on the charges, saying because he had made a mistake, she would give him a chance. She warned however, that the next time Doyle does something like this and appears before her, she would jail him.
As Doyle left the court, it was the turn of his alleged robber to stand before Raphael. He was charged with stealing a bag belonging to Doyle which contained personal items worth $1,430. Speaking with a clear American accent, the man pleaded not guilty. Asked if he was deported from the United States, the man answered ‘yes’. Raphael remanded him into custody and instructed him to return to court on October 30.