$$$ for Cedros mechanic wrongly charged with stealing car

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A Cedros mechanic will receive $127,000 in damages from the State after he was wrongfully charged with larceny of a motor vehicle.

Master Sherlanne Pierre made the order in favour of Trevor Samaroo.

Samaroo, 48, was vacationing with family in Toco in July 2012 when his neighbour called to say police were at his home.

He said he called the Cedros police station and was told there was a warrant for his arrest. On July 24, 2012, he voluntarily surrendered to police with a justice of the peace and a bailor. He was arrested and charged with larceny of a motor vehicle.

He said he repeatedly pleaded his innocence, insisting he never stole the car in question.

Samaroo said he was told the only reason he was being charged was that police could not find the man who actually stole the car.

He said he went to court 12 times for the case and the preliminary inquiry started in May 2014 before Maria Busby Earle-Caddle. now chief magistrate, who upheld a no-case submission in his favour, discharging him.

He said his arrest and prosecution caused him stress and anxiety for the almost two years he had to go to court.

Samaroo’s lawsuit contends the police argued he tried to sell the car knowing it was stolen, but no evidence was presented to prove he had stolen it. He also said at the trial the owner of the car testified that Samaroo did not steal the car.

He contended the police knew he was innocent but still made up evidence against him, treating him as a criminal.

Samaroo says he no longer trusts the police.

He was represented by attorneys Abdel Mohammed and Shabana Mohammed.

Tiffany Kissoon and Radha Sookdeo appeared for the State, which was also ordered to pay Samaroo’s legal costs.