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Judicial CP - October 2000

Trinidad Express, Port of Spain, 18 October 2000

Law and Order

Ten years jail for acid on ex-lover

By Fulton Wilson

THE APPEAL Court has affirmed a ten-year sentence imposed on Anthony Padmore two years ago for throwing acid on his former girlfriend in 1989.

Padmore, 32, a tradesman of Ninth Street, La Romaine had been found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to his former girlfriend and neighbour, Judith Lezama.

On April 30, 1998, Justice Rajendra Narine, presiding in the San Fernando High Court, imposed the ten-year sentence and ordered him to receive ten strokes with the birch. Padmore appealed.

Yesterday, Chief Justice Michael de la Bastide and Justices of Appeal Lionel Jones and Rolston Nelson heard the appeal. Pamela Elder, who represented Padmore had argued that Padmore's attorney, Michael Persadsingh, had refused to allow him to give evidence during the trial and this was wrong.

But Persadsingh produced instructions signed by Padmore which stated that he had decided not to give evidence. He also produced instructions that were contrary to the first.

On hearing this, Elder admitted that the credibility of her client became an issue and she could no longer pursue the ground. The court then affirmed the sentence and conviction. They decided not to interfere with the sentence because Padmore had attacked the integrity of his attorney. His sentence therefore began yesterday.

The court heard that before Padmore threw the acid on Lezama on May 12, 1989 at her home, he told her: "If I can't have you, no one will." Lezama and Padmore had been in a relationship for about a year, but Lezama, who was then 17, broke it off.

Padmore went to Lezama's house and asked her if she had sex with someone else. She denied it and Padmore took her by her hands and carried her downstairs. He then picked up a bottle with the acid which he had hidden and told her, "If I can't have you, no one will." Then he threw the acid on her, scarring her face and body.

Corpun file 6201

Trinidad Express, Port of Spain, 18 October 2000

UN grills AG on human rights

ATTORNEY General Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj was grilled for most of the day on Tuesday, after presenting this country's report on human rights to the United Nations Committee on Human Rights in Geneva.

Maharaj, who also addressed the Committee, said the two major issues on which he was questioned by the Committee were corporal punishment against adult offenders and capital punishment.

A statement issued yesterday by the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs said Maharaj told the Committee that members must not allow personal views on corporal and capital punishment to colour their judgment.

"The human rights report on Trinidad and Tobago should show there has been great improvement in every field of civil and political rights," he said, adding that the country did not want any favour or mercy from the Committee.

Capital and corporal punishment, he said, were part of European culture which abolished them, but they must be considered by Caribbean courts in the context of Caribbean society and not on the basis of European society.

Maharaj said most of the members of the Committee were against capital and corporal punishment, adding that the credibility of the Committee was in question. He said he was anxiously awaiting their comments on this country, so that they could be discussed by the Caribbean people.


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