A man has been freed of kidnapping a businesswoman from Maraval and holding her hostage for over a week in 2008.
Guardian Media understands that Sean Burgin was set to go on trial for the crime before Justice Devan Rampersad at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain when the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) filed a notice of discontinuance over insufficient evidence in the case.
The decision was ratified and Burgin was freed when the case came up for hearing before Rampersad, yesterday.
Burgin was charged with kidnapping Philippa Talma on May 2, 2008. He was also charged with demanding a ransom, abducting and detaining her and robbing her.
Talma, 55, the daughter of former Independent senator Dr Julien Kenny, was snatched from her clothing store, Philippa London at Saddle Road in Maraval.
The vehicle which was allegedly used to commit the crime was later found abandoned at Anderson Trace in Maraval. The car had been stolen in Petit Bourg hours before Talma’s abduction.
The mother of two was eventually released on Mother’s Day, May 10, after a $100,000 ransom was paid.
Ian Morgan, of Moraldo Trace, Maraval, was initially jointly charged with Burgin for the kidnapping but during the preliminary inquiry of the case, the DPP’s Office opted to withdraw the charge against him due to insufficient evidence.
Morgan was also charged for stealing the vehicle and that charge was maintained.
Burgin had also challenged the State’s evidence against him including discarded ATM receipts from Talma’s account with allegedly bore his fingerprints but was unsuccessful.
Last year, on the tenth anniversary of her kidnapping, Talma took to her Facebook page to discuss the incident.
“This image was taken in a hospital after my release on Mother’s Day. I had been beaten, blindfolded, gagged, hog-tied and held in a latrine in South Trinidad for 9 days. This is what we look like. The victims of violent, unspeakable crimes,” Talma said.
Burgin was represented by Peter Carter.
Reporter: Derek Achong