2 cops acquitted of robbing Tunapuna bakery owner in 2008

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Police officers PC Kipson Wynn, third from left at back, and acting Cpl Nirmal “Dj Sheriff” third from left at front, with their lawyers at the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain. –

POPULAR radio DJ Nirmal Ramjattan, known as DJ Sheriff, is one of two suspended police officers who have been acquitted of allegedly robbing a bakery owner back in 2008.

On Tuesday, a Port of Spain jury returned a mixed verdict – eight not guilty and one guilty – in favour of Ramjattan, an acting corporal, and PC Kipson Wynn.

The law provides for a judge to accept a majority verdict in non-capital cases, which is what Justice Geoffrey Henderson did at the end of the jury’s deliberation, and before he told the two policemen they were free to go.

Wynn was emotional when the verdicts were given. Ramjattan was stoic. The latter runs the popular social media pages DJS News.

The sudden exit of prosecutors Brandon Sookoo and Dylan Martin while this was taking place drew the ire of the judge.

After thanking the jury for their service, Henderson left the courtroom at the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain, and returned minutes later to put his displeasure on record.

“I have asked the registrar to write to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to record the court’s displeasure at the conduct of the prosecutors, who walked out of the courtroom while the verdicts were being recorded. The court considers this highly disrespectful.”

He left it for the DPP to “treat” the situation.

Speaking afterwards for himself and Wynn, Ramjattan said that 16 years ago, they learned, as police officers, “what the system thought about you.

“Now 16 years later, all I would say is good always prevails over evil.”

They thanked their attorneys, Larry Williams, Kelston Pople, Toni Roberts, Ashleigh Mootilal and Alysa Habib, and their families, who stood by their side from the start.

Both men chose not to say whether they would return to the police service now that they have been cleared of the charges.

Both admitted when they joined the police, they had the intention of making their career for life. Now, “We will leave that up to God,” they said.

It was the State’s case that the two police officers, who were assigned to the Northern Division (west) policing district, robbed Horace Seedansingh, owner of the Golden Crown bakery in Tunapuna.

Ramjattan was the head of a unit in the division known as the anti-crime unit.

Seedansingh, who returned to Trinidad to testify at the trial, which began in January, said he got home at about 2.45 am on April 6, 2008, after visiting a casino on Auzonville Road, when the two officers – whom he said he recognised at the police station when he went with his sister to make a report – robbed him of $90,000, his car and a lock. He also claimed they took his bank card and withdrew $5,000.

Seedansingh said the assailants, dressed in black cargo pants, boots, jerseys and Marvin Gaye hats, hog-tied him and beat him before robbing him.

He also claimed one of the assailants threatened to kill him.

“I was confused. I was just crying. Is meh life,” he said in his testimony.

Ramjattan testified at his trial, but Wynn did not.

They have been on suspension since their arrest in June 2008, when the charges were laid against them.

Ramjattan said the first time he heard Seedansingh’s name was when he was detained by then-acting Sgt Jude Worrell, who also testified at the trial.

Their attorneys labelled Seedansingh a “liar” for the inconsistencies in his evidence, that of his sister who, in her 999 call to the police, described her brother’s assailants as “two African men,” and Seedansingh’s medical report, which said he had no physical injury when examined at the hospital on April 6, 2008, despite his claim that he was cuffed, kicked and got a “buss mouth.”

A log of Ramjattan’s phone calls showed he did not receive any calls on his cellphone, despite Seedansingh saying he did while at his home.

In their closing addresses, the attorneys reminded the jury that “not all police are bad.”