ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – Chief Magistrate, Teddy St Louis, will on Wednesday sentence four Trinidad and Tobago nationals who pleaded guilty to committing grievous harm on Grenada’s reigning World javelin champion, Anderson Peters.
The four, including Noel Cooper, 42, the captain of the Barbados-owned vessel, Harbour Master, will remain in custody until sentencing.
Cooper, along with John Alexander, 55, Mikhail John, 35, and 28-year-old Sheon Jack, were charged with causing harm with violence and causing grievous harm with violence to the world rated athlete and his brother, Kiddon Peters, a police officer, during a brawl on board the vessel last week Wednesday, August 10.
Police had initially announced the arrest of six of the crew members of the vessel, but when the hearing began, the state prosecutors dropped the charges against 40-year old Abiola Benjamin, who was described as the cruise operations manager on the vessel after video footage was reviewed and indicated that he was trying to separate the men who were engaged in the scuffle.
Media reports here said that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Christopher Nelson, was among those who reviewed the video footage that was widely circulated on social media.
The other person who had been charged, 45-year-old sailor, Lance Wiggins, pleaded not guilty and the Chief Magistrate ruled that he was free to leave the court.
The Trinidadians were brought into the St George’s Number One Magistrate’s Court amidst very tight security by members of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF). They were represented by former attorney general, Cajeton Hood.
The world-rated athlete and his brother were also present in court.
The maximum fine for anyone convicted of causing grievous harm charges is a five-year jail term and a fine of EC$5000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents), while the charge of causing carries a maximum one year jail term and a fine of EC$3,000.
Following the court proceedings, Hood told The New Today newspaper that his mission in the case was to try and bring the criminal proceedings to an end as quickly as possible “in the best interest of all the parties, in the best interest of justice and whatever the multiple interests of all the parties are.”
Apart from the criminal charges, the Trinidadians are also facing a civil lawsuit with the javelin champion securing the services of attorney Derick Sylvester.
According to official court documents sent to the Chief Immigration Officer, the Grenada Ports Authority, and Comptroller of Customs, the Harbour Master vessel should not be cleared for sailing until they individually receive instructions from the Acting Registrar of the Supreme Court.