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Inmate awarded $200 000

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PORT-OF-SPAIN – A 43-year-old inmate at the Maximum Security Prison in Arouca has been awarded over $200 000 in damages by High Court Judge Ronnie Boodoosingh.
David Ross received $160 000 in general damages, $40 000 in exemplary damages and $40 000 in costs, after having both his hands broken during a beating by prison officers in September last year.
Ross was represented by attorneys Gerald Ramdeen and Mark Seepersad.
In his testimony, Ross told the court he was taken from his cell on September 23 by Prison Officer 1 Noel, who “came into my cell and locked my neck and dragged me out of my cell”.
Ross said while standing outside his cell, Prison Officer 2 Gilbert approached him, swinging a riot stave, hitting him on the left shoulder.
“I must have been hit about six blows to my shoulder and must have brakes another five or six that were fired towards my head.
“While the officer was hitting me, he was using obscene language towards me,” Ross testified.
Ross said the beating lasted five minutes and he was then escorted down some stairs by Gilbert.
Gilbert, the court heard, told Ross to step toward the wall, and the latter complied.
“As I was facing the wall, Gilbert ordered me to stretch both my hands towards the wall.
The court heard Ross’s beating lasted for more than ten minutes and, when he attempted to get off the floor, he was beaten for another five minutes.
“Blood continued to pour down the left side of my face while the officer continued to beat me, as I was not able to place my hand on the cut any longer. When the officer had finished beating me, he turned to me and said, ‘Now you would know what to expect when you don’t listen.’
“The officer then turned away and spit on me before walking away,” Ross said. (Trinidad Express)