MAN, 50, ON 11 SEX ABUSE CHARGES

By Laurel V Williams
April 11 2012 – newsday.co.tt

VictimA 50-year-old taxi driver was yesterday denied bail when he appeared in court charged with 11 counts of sexual assault on four boys who are between the ages of five and 16.

The accused Abdul Samad, also called Roger Danglade and Abu and who gave various addresses in Central Trinidad, appeared before Magistrate Anna Ryan in the Couva Magistrates’ Court.

One of Samad’s alleged victim, a 16-year-old secondary school student, also appeared yesterday before the magistrate on two sexual assault charges against the five- year-old victim.

Samad is alleged to have committed the acts of buggery and serious indecency on two other boys, ages 14 and 15, who last week appeared in court charged with two counts of sexual offences against the same five-year-old boy.

Yesterday, Ryan read the charges against Samad in which the incidents involving the teenagers and the five-year-old boy are alleged to have taken place between January 1, 2011, and March 27, 2012, at two houses, one in Chaguanas and the other in Claxton Bay.

All the charges were laid indictably so Samad, who appeared in the courtroom with two asthma inhalers in his hands, was not called upon to plead.

Samad, who plies his trade in the Chaguanas area, coughed in the courtroom and used his inhalers to control his breathing.

While looking at documents in her hands, the magistrate enquired if he had any previous convictions. Samad responded he had several for drugs and house breaking about nine or ten years ago.

During Samad’s case the public gallery was cleared and he was the only accused person in the courtroom.

Speaking while at times gasping for breath, Samad told the magistrate threats have been made on his life in light of the charges.

“They said even if I go to Remand Yard, they would get me. Ma’am I am asking to be separated from prisoners,” he said. The magistrate took a note of his claims which she said she intended to forward to the Commissioner of Prisons. The magistrate adjourned the Chaguanas matters to the Chaguanas Magistrates’ Court for Samad to appear tomorrow. She also ordered him to re-appear in the Couva Magistrate’s Court on April 20 before advising him of his rights to apply to a judge in chambers for bail.

Just minutes before Samad’s case was called, the 16-year-old appeared on the two charges against the five-year-old boy. The magistrate read the charges which alleged that between January 1 and March 26, this year, at a house in Claxton Bay, the teenager committed an act of buggery against the boy. The second charge alleged during the same period the teenager also committed an act of serious indecency against the boy.

Both charges were laid indictably and the teenager was not called upon to plead. As the student was a minor, his father was also called before the magistrate during the hearing yesterday.

After reading out the charges, the magistrate inquired from court prosecutor Sgt Peter Francis about the status of the five-year-old victim. The prosecutor told the court the victim is currently in the care of a home for children and that his mother is a drug addict.

He further told Ryan, two other teenagers, 14 and 15, had appeared in court last week charged separately with the same two offences against the five-year-old. The two accused are currently at the Youth Training Centre.

Yesterday, the father of the accused student said he was a single parent and looked after the teenager. Pointing in the direction of Samad, who was seated less than a metre away from the accused teenager, the father said “a friend” would pick up his son after school in Chaguanas and they would go and lime.

Ryan granted the 16-year-old student surety bail in the sum of $50,000 to cover both charges. Before the magistrate postponed the case to May 2, the father raised his hands and asked the magistrate to attach conditions to the bail such as having the student report to the police station.

The magistrate responded that it seemed he was anticipating the accused student may give some trouble if released from police custody. Addressing the accused the magistrate said, “It seems if you are released you would not be obedient to your father. You may not be studying when you are supposed to. I have the other option of remanding you into police custody and when they say is time to sleep you have to do it.” The accused teenager smiled as he had done during most of yesterday’s hearing.

The magistrate told the father that when he reappears with his son at the next hearing, he should inform the court if the accused had given any trouble while on bail, if secured. She also advised the student that he had to attend school on a regular basis and added she wanted an attendance report.

Speaking with reporters outside the courthouse, Supt Johnny Abraham, of the Central Division, who lead the investigations into the sexual assaults, called on parents to report to police any incidents of adults befriending children and committing sexual acts on them. The charges were laid by PC Mark Phillip of the Couva Police Station.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,158330.html

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