THE Court of Appeal has dismissed the appeal and affirmed the conviction of a Point Fortin man who was sentenced to hang in 2011 for murdering a fellow prison inmate.

Appeal Court judges Justices Paula Mae Weekes, Alice Yorke-Soo Hon and Rajendra Narine dismissed the appeal of Jay Chandler, 34, who was convicted for the death of Kirn Phillip.

Phillip was stabbed while at the Golden Grove Remand Prison, Arouca, in 2004 and later died at hospital.

Narine delivered the 18-page advance copy of the judgment at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain last Thursday.

Weekes explained the final judgment would be delivered on a later date, pointing out that the Court opted to deliver the advance copy as it did not wish to delay the judgment.

Chandler was challenging the sentence which was handed down by Justice Mark Mohammed, after he was found guilty by a 12-member jury of murdering Phillip.

During the High Court trial, the State had presented evidence stating that on October 8, 2004, Chandler, who was in prison custody for another offence, chased Phillip through one of the corridors and stabbed him once to the chest.

The weapon, however, which was said to be an improvised knife, was not presented as evidence during the trial.

The State had also relied on evidence of bad character, saying that in 2009 Chandler stabbed inmate Hilbert Haynes in the neck while they were at the Maximum Security Prison.

Throughout the trial, Chandler maintained his innocence, stating that he never had a weapon in his possession.

At the appeal, through his attorneys, Chandler argued five grounds of appeal, which included that Mohammed erred in law when he admitted evidence of bad character stemming from an offence that Chandler had pleaded guilty.

The attorneys had also stated that the judge failed to adequately "or at all to direct the jury on the significance of the missing murder weapon".

During Thursday's hearing, the Appeal Court said the function of the judge was to provide directions of law and to summarise the evidence, with the function of the jury being to analyse the evidence and arrive at a verdict.

"The appellant further submits that the trial judge should have directed the jury that the appellant was at no time within range of the victim, and so he could not have inflicted the fatal wound to him.

"In fact, the evidence was that the appellant was about one or two feet away from the victim when he was pursuing him and he had a metal object in his hand and was making movements towards the back of the victim with it.


AFTER sustaining widespread criticism for her perceived silence on mounting violent crimes against women, Trinidad and Tobago’s first female President, Paula-Mae Weekes, has broken her silence.

NINETEEN activist groups have invited the nation to stage a “walkout” from workplaces in observation today of International Women’s Day (IWD) and to honour the activism that followed the murders of several young women, including Andrea Bharatt.

WITH each minute that passes, it is becoming less and less likely that missing hiker Qadir Shah will be found alive.

Even some of his friends and family members have apparently accepted that Shah is no longer alive and have instead mobilised searches to locate his body.

HE has suffered the horrific loss of his only daughter to violence but Randolph Bharatt remains optimistic on this International Women’s Day.

Prior to him participating in a vigil in Port of Spain organised by the Candlelight Movement last Friday where he signed a petition in support of legislation for women’s safety, Bharatt was asked his thoughts on the strides women have made: “I think they have started. Something good might happen.”

On two occasions in the past week, freight container trucks passing through an uneven stretch of road in Craignish Village, Princes Town nearly toppled over into oncoming traffic, and could go neither forward nor back.