$175k for Marabella man for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

– File photo

A HIGH Court Judge has awarded $175,000 to a Marabella man who sued the state for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment.

In the matter of Anthony Morgan versus the Attorney General, Justice Robin N Mohammed found in favour of the claimant, who contended that he was arrested, imprisoned, and released after six days and 11 hours without any charges being laid.

Morgan said being away from his family, in the circumstance, knowing he did nothing wrong, and having suffered loss of liberty, injury to his feelings, and physical injury, namely, the discomfort resulting from the detention and injury to his reputation, was a traumatic experience.

In his statement of facts, Morgan said a group of officers entered his Bayshore, Marabella home on September 15, 2017, and two of them pushed him against the wall.

He said a gun was pointed at his head in the presence of his wife and two children, who were five and one month old at the time.

The police asked if he was ‘Morgan’ and when he responded in the affirmative, he was arrested. He said he was taken outside his home, in full view of his neighbours. He said he felt embarrassed.

He said he was placed in a hot police vehicle for about an hour before another man was placed in the vehicle with him. They were both taken to the Marabella police station, where he was put in a hot cell with four other prisoners.

He described the cell as being filthy, with a hole in the ground for a toilet, no bed or mattress on which to sleep and that he had to sleep on the floor. He said the smell of human waste permeated the atmosphere.

Morgan said he was denied the privilege of speaking with his attorney, who came to the station. On September 19, he was transferred to the San Fernando Police Station, where he was again placed in a cell – ­ like the one in Marabella – with four other people. He was released without charge on September 21, 2017.

Justice Mohammed awarded general damages of $130,000 for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment with an uplift in the award for aggravated damages.

Attorney Kevin Ratiram represented Morgan, while Trisha Ramlogan, instructed by Janine Joseph, appeared for the Attorney General.