Jailbreak in 2015 …”HELP US, PAULA-MAE”

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The Prison Officers’ Association has called on the new President, Paula-Mae Weekes, to bring some closure to the jailbreak at the Port-of-Spain Prison, on July 24, 2015.

The association is also calling for the reinstatement of the three prisons officers who were suspended following that incident, the charges be dropped against them, and a new commission to probe the matter be formed under the ambit of the Prisons Service.

At a press conference on Wednesday,  President Ceron Richards said the association had written to former President Anthony Carmona, the Joint Select Committee, Public Service Commission, Attorney General’s office and the Integrity Commission, on this issue before with no resolution.

Richards said a letter will now be sent to Weekes for her first assignment to be the investigation of the jailbreak.

He said attorney Ricky Pandohee had filed a judicial review case under the Freedom of Information Act for information on the probe into the matter and it was discovered by affidavit evidence that there was no accuser and no report made.

Richards added, “The Prisons Officers’ Association continues to report that there is no outcome to this investigation that revealed what happened on that day and what caused that incident to take place and who were the persons responsible.”

He said three years after the jailbreak, there is still no outcome to questions raised after the incident and the officers cannot come before their accuser/s to defend themselves.

Richards added, “We still want to know who brought in the guns and the grenades? How did those items make their way into the system to be used in the jailbreak? Who was it that facilitated for those inmates to use equipment in this daring jail break? These questions remain unanswered.”

He said three prisons officers have been on suspension since the incident and have charges pending before the PSC Tribunal and cannot be heard, noting their lives have been thrown into turmoil and nobody seems to care.

He said, “They are pleading for disclosure that would support their defence. Something is terribly wrong here.”

Richards said the prisons officers were vilified, blamed for the jail break and are still away from duty.

He asked, “Who made these accusations? To date, all evidence shows there is no accuser and no report.

How were they identified? What is the role of the commission?”

THE JAILBREAK

According to police reports, around 12.30 p.m, a small group of men entered the Port of Spain prison along Frederick Street to visit a group of prisoners, among them, 42-year-old Allan “Scanny” Martin, one of the men who was on trial for the kidnap and murder of Xtra Foods CEO Vindra Naipaul-Coolman; Christopher “Monster” Selby, 30; and Hassan Atwell, 41.

Constable Sherman Maynard, 27, was shot by the escapees while on duty outside of the prison. He died of gunshot wounds to his leg and lower abdomen during emergency surgery at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.

Escapee, Allan ‘Scanny’ Martin, 42, one of a gang of men in the high profile trial for the murder of businesswoman Vindra Naipaul Coolman, was shot to death during a gun battle with the police on the compounds of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.

Christopher “Monster” Selby, 30, was recaptured, while Hassan Atwell, 41, a member of the Carapo branch of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen, was shot dead in east Port-of-Spain.

Further reports revealed that the three prisoners used two handguns to fire shots inside the jail demanding to be let out, and upon their escape threw a hand-grenade that failed to explode. They jumped into a waiting car in which they tried to escape further, but crashed at the corner of Gordon and Charlotte Streets virtually opposite the hospital when intercepted by police officers.

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ALLAN “SCANNY” MARTIN

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PC SHERMAN MAYNARD

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