(TT Newsday) A bench warrant has been issued for the arrest of a Guyanese national who was fined for ill- treating 31 exotic birds, and jailed for illegally importing them into Trinidad. Dennis Singh, who is believed to have fled back to Guyana to escape prosecution, had his sentences varied by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.
On July 28, 2008 Singh was sentenced by Magistrate Avason Quinlan to a term of 18 months imprisonment for importing prohibited items — namely, 31 Bull Finch birds.
Chief Justice Ivor Archie, who presided over the appeal along with Justice of Appeal Alice Yorke-Soo Hon, reduced the sentence to six months, saying it was excessive for a first time offender.
A fine of TT$3,500 for the offence of importing exotic birds without a licence, was affirmed. But judges reduced the alternative prison sentence from one year to three months. Three fines totalling TT$1,000 for ill-treating the birds by keeping them in undersized cages, were reduced to TT$450. A bench warrant was also issued.
Singh, a seaman, of 175 Thomas Street, Kitty, Guyana was charged for breaches under the Conservation of Wildlife Act and Animal and Disease and Importation Act. Singh was arrested on July 25, 2008 at King’s Wharf in Port-of-Spain on board the vessel Unique R1.