T&T lawyers turn down alleged child-molester

(Trinidad Guardian) Two attorneys have refused to represent alleged child-molester Abdul Samad who is accused of buggering a five-year-old boy and three teenagers. Yesterday attorneys Richard Mc Leod and Joseph Honore declined to represent Samad when he appeared before Chaguanas Magistrate Gail Gonsalves on two of the 11 sexual offence charges. Mc Leod cited personal reasons for declining to represent Samad. “I had known some of the victims, so it would be a conflict of interest for me to represent him,” he explained after the court hearing. Honore said he had to decline for professional reasons.

“He wanted legal-aid representation, and I am not a member of the legal aid panel. I am in the process of applying for membership, so, based on that, I declined. I did not address my mind to representing him,” Honore said. He added that he was in court to represent a 17-year-old male relative of Samad who was charged for possession of one round of ammunition, a stolen computer and a flash drive. The teen was placed on $10,000 bail when he appeared before Gonsalves yesterday. He will reappear in court on May 9. Samad, also known as Roger Danglade and Abu, 50, of Springvale Highway, Claxton Bay, appeared before Gonsalves for allegedly buggering a 16-year-old boy and committing grievous sexual assault on the teen at Connector Road, Chase Village, between January 1 and December 31, 2011.

He was again refused bail. Prosecutor Sgt Joey Samaroo objected on the grounds that a criminal record trace is still pending. Gonsalves refused Samad bail because he has nine pending matters in the Couva Magistrates’ Court. On Tuesday, Samad appeared in the Couva court charged with seven counts of buggery and four counts of serious indecency committed on boys aged five, 13, 14 and 16. The offences occurred between January 1 and March 26, 2012 and January 1 and December 31, 2011. All charges were laid by PC Mark Phillip. Samad appealed for protection in prison, claiming he was receiving death threats. Yesterday when he appeared before Magistrate Gonsalves, Samad did not renew his plea. However, the magistrate made a note of his previous request and his medical condition. He said he suffers from asthma.

Samad will reappear on May 9 and is expected to reappear in Couva on April 20. Legal Aid Authority chairman Chateram Sinanan, contacted for comment on the attorneys’ decision to decline, said: “Nothing prevents an attorney from declining an appointment.” Sinanan said once an application is made for legal aid the authority will find an attorney to represent the applicant. “We cannot, however, appoint someone who is not on the panel, and if an attorney, upon being appointed for the applicant, declines, we would proceed to find another attorney who will be minded to present the applicant,” Sinanan assured.

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