HAVING become financially desperate after losing his job, a Tunapuna man, who resorted to a life of crime was on Monday sentenced to 72 months' hard labour.

Port of Spain Magistrate Marissa Gomez imposed the sentence on the man, Raheem Philbert, after he pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery that took place in St James and San Juan earlier this year.

Philbert appeared before the magistrate during a virtual court hearing. After the charges were read, police prosecutor Cpl Smith, recommended that the matters be heard summarily (heard and completed at the Magistrates' Court).

Philbert also elected to have the matters heard at the lower court, before entering his guilty pleas.

In his plea in mitigation, he explained to the magistrate that he recently lost his job and was "desperate" for money. This was the only reason why he decided to commit the crimes, he said.

In accepting the State's evidence, Philbert said he did not wish to waste any of the court's time and wanted to begin serving his sentence so that he can use him time while in prison to learn a trade and become a more productive member of society when released.

On each of the charges, the magistrate imposed 72 months' prison terms. Both of the sentences are to run concurrently, meaning that Philbert will only serve 72 months.


A soldier who attempted to break up a gathering at his son’s birthday lime in Point Fortin was shot dead by a police officer ­yesterday.

Lance Corporal Keverne Miller, 42, of Lakeview, Point Fortin, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Point Fortin Area Hospital.

Miller served 16 years in the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, his father, Daffort Miller, 73, said.

“I thought it was garbage.”

These were the words of a 45-year-old man on Thursday night while speaking to investigators in Valencia at the scene of an accident which claimed the life of 49-year-old Elvis Marcano.

AS the world yesterday recorded a “heart-wrenching milestone” of two million Covid-19 deaths, Uni­ted Nations Secretary-General Anto­nio Guterres said the pandemic’s impact has been exaggerated by a lack of global co-ordination—as he warned against inequity in the global distribution of a vaccine.

WEDNESDAY’S ruling by Justice Frank Seepersad in favour of the Trinidad Express against the State was not just a victory for the media fraternity in this country but also across the Commonwealth and Caribbean.

In a statement from its Barbados headquarters yesterday, the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) said it welcomed the ruling by Justice Seepersad in which he declared the warrants used by police to search the media house in March last year were “plainly irregular”, unlawful and unconstitutional.

Several scholarship winners are earning an income driving taxis while others qualified in the field of law are unemployed because the State has not placed them in jobs.

This, while the Solicitor General’s department is understaffed and in need of more attorneys.

This was one of the concerns raised yesterday during a meeting of the Joint Select Committee of Finance and Legal Affairs, enquiring into the ease of doing business in Trinidad and Tobago.