State to pay over $300,000 to businessman held as 'gang member' during SOE

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 14:30

The state has been ordered to pay a little over $300,000 in compensation to a Couva businessman who was charged with being a gang member during the 2011 State of Emergency.

The ruling was handed down in the San Fernando High Court by Justice Ricky Rahim.

He ruled that police officers had maliciously prosecuted Darryl Bishop as they did not have reasonable or probable cause to suspect that he was guilty of the crime when he was arrested.

Justice Rahim found that Bishop's case fell within the rare category of malice based on the lack of evidence they had against Bishop.

The judge considered the humiliation, damage to reputation and deprivation of his liberty caused by his arrest in making an assessment of the $250,000 in general damages for Bishop.

He also awarded $50,000 in exemplary damages to serve as a deterrent against serious abuse of authority by the police.

Justice Rahim said; "The arbitrary exercise of power by the state, in this case, was overwhelming and the court should send a strong message it should not and will not be tolerated in a free and democratic society with respect for the rule of law."