Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rennie Dumas Escapes Jail but Fined

FREE TO GO: Former PNM minister Rennie Dumas, left,
speaks to his attorney, former attorney general John Jeremie
outside the Scarborough Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Former PNM government minister Rennie Dumas escaped jail time when he reappeared in the Scarborough Magistrates’ Court yesterday and expressed relief in the verdict but plans to appeal the case, as he claims he never hit security guard Roger Simon, and his conviction is most unjust. 

Dumas before Magistrate Nannette Ford-John, who wasted no time in delivering her verdict in the matter. Magistrate Ford-John made her determination under the Offences Against the Person Act, handing down the charge as follows:  On the charge of common assault Dumas was told to pay $3,500 or nine months hard labour, and on the charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm $15,000 or two years hard labour. 

Dumas has 30 days within which to pay the fines and 14 days to lodge an appeal in the matter. Dumas told the Express, while he is happy to not face a prison sentence justice was not served in the matter and he will appeal the sentence. Dumas  said his lawyers, former attorney general John Jeremie SC and Keith Scotland must be highly commended for representing him in the matter, however  some serious questions now arise with respect to the justice system in this country.

“I am clear that I did not hit that man with any gun so there was no brandishing with a firearm, and there was no hitting with a firearm. The way in which the evidence was handled on the other side is that the police refused to carry the gun that they were holding , that they were accusing me of hitting him with, for forensic testing,” Dumas said.

Dumas said he is clear therefore that the conviction cannot stand, the conviction is unjust and therefore it should be treated as such. 

“Despite the question of not being incarcerated , the question of your reputation, the question of what you have worked for all your life being turned against you.” 

Acting Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions George Busby who represented the defence told the Express he was satisfied with the outcome of the matter. Dumas, a former Member of Parliament for Tobago East, was convicted of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm against Roger Simon and committing an act of common assault against Simon, a security officer. The matter stemmed from a dispute between Simon and Dumas, at Arnos Vale, Plymouth, on June 1, 2011. 


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