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Judicial CP - March 1999
Trinidad Express, Port of Spain, 9 March 1999
One-armed man jailed for chopping off hand
By Keino Swamber, South Bureau
ROBERT MORENZIE, the one-armed man who, in a fit of rage, chopped off the hand of another man almost three years ago, was yesterday jailed for seven years hard labour and ordered to receive seven strokes with the birch.
The sentence was passed by Justice Carlton Best sitting in the San FernandoThird Assizes after a 12-member jury found Morenzie guilty of chopping off Anthony Francis's left hand at the Princes Town Public Market on July 29, 1996.
Francis told the court that he was filling a bucket of water at a standpipe when he was approached by Morenzie who asked him to wash a styrotex cup but he refused, saying he was busy.
He said that he was sleeping in the market later that day and was awakened by Morenzie who started quarrelling about Francis's earlier refusal to wash the styrotex cup.
The court heard that Morenzie then butted Francis causing him to fall to the ground.
Francis's hand was left lying on the ground after the chop was fired by Morenzie.
Francis was found some distance away by Const Steve Persad who retrieved the hand and took Francis to the San Fernando General Hospital where doctors performed an emergency operation to reattach the limb.
Morenzie, in a statement to Persad, admitted that he chopped Francis but stated that he acted in self-defence after he was attacked by Francis.
Trinidad Express, Port of Spain, 16 March 1999
Two in Cro Cro shooting get 38 years each
By Keino Swamber, South Bureau
THE two men accused of shooting at the wife and son of calypsonian Weston "Cro Cro" Rawlins were yesterday found guilty and each sentenced to serve a total of 38 years hard labour and receive seven strokes with the birch for shooting with intent, robbery and four other counts.
But bench warrants had to be issued for their immediate arrest after they failed to be present when Justice Hubert Volney delivered his summation of the case to the jury before they arrived at a verdict.
Attorneys Ian Gray, Steadson Jack and Mewahlal Chatoor, appearing for Dane "Mutch" Joseph and Sherwin "Scrap" Thompson, were at a loss to explain the whereabouts of the two accused.
Volney began his summation of the case in their absence and warned the jury not to convict the two accused based on the fact that they did not appear in court on the final day of the case as there may be a legitimate reason for their non-appearance. A marshall in the San Fernando Second Assizes informed the court that she had seen Joseph before the matter was called but could not say where he had gone.
The jury retired and returned shortly after with the guilty verdicts.
Volney passed sentence, ordering that Joseph and Thompson serve a seven-year term on the first three counts, seven years with seven strokes for robbery with violence, and five years each on the counts of possession of arms and ammunition.
He ordered that warrants be obtained for the arrest of the two men and that they begin serving their sentences upon arrest without being granted bail.
The case, presented on behalf of the State by attorney Margaret Alert, is that Joseph and Thompson, along with two other men, went to the Rawlins's residence at Buenos Ayres and proceeded to shoot at the house.
Glenda Rawlins, Cro Cro's wife, and her son, Keen, both sustained gunshot wounds during the one-hour ordeal that began around 1 a.m. on June 27, 1995.
The family's dog was killed and a number of items, including jewelry, were taken by the men, who held Keen at gunpoint and took him about 200 feet away from his home where the men eventually began unmasking themselves.
Keen testified that he recognised Joseph, whom he knew for ten years, and Thompson, whom he knew for five years prior to the incident.
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