Cops to face trial for 2015 assault on Sangre Grande man

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Hall of Justice in Port of Spain. –

ALL 11 police officers charged with misbehaviour in public office and perverting the course of justice for allegedly dousing a suspect with hot water during an interrogation in February 2015 will face trial.

Ten of the 11 were freed of the charges against them in 2019, when a magistrate held the evidence presented at the preliminary inquiry was manifestly unreliable for all but one of the officers, who, at the time, was committed to stand trial.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions recently obtained a judge’s warrant for committal for the ten in accordance with the Indictable Offences Act.

The act allows the DPP to apply to a High Court judge for a committal warrant so that an indictment can be filed for an accused person to face a trial.

It was alleged the officers doused suspect Ralph Andre Lewis with hot water and pepper sauce during an interrogation in 2015.

Last year, Lewis, of Coronation Street, Sangre Grande, was awarded $300,000 by a High Court master as compensation for his injuries.

Master Sherlanne Pierre ordered the State to pay $210,000 in general and aggravated damages and $50,000 in exemplary damages. The State was also ordered to pay the $41,000 in legal fees that Lewis incurred.

Lewis claimed that on February 24, 2015, he went to the Sangre Grande Police Station, as he had heard officers wanted to question him over several housebreakings in the district.

He was detained for 48 hours before the interrogation started. His lawsuit for assault and battery claimed he was forced to confess and was beaten with a PVC pipe.

He also claimed cups of boiling water were poured down his pants in his groin area and pepper sauce rubbed on the burns on his penis and surrounding areas.

Lewis was then taken to the Sangre Grande District Hospital for treatment and released from custody after being discharged.