Beetham Gardens community activist Anderson Wilson has been sentenced to seven days in prison for cursing Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds in 2018.
Wilson was on Friday found guilty of using obscene language to the annoyance of others and slapped with the sentence as he reappeared before Magistrate Sarah De Silva in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court.
However, the father of five was not immediately imprisoned as he successfully applied for bail under Section 133 (A) of the Summary Court Act, which provides for bail in circumstances where a person is sentenced to less than 30 days in prison and intends to appeal.
Wilson was granted $10,000 bail and his friend Wendell Eversley, himself a social activist, was allowed to stand as surety.
According to the evidence in the case, the incident occurred on August 14 last year, as the Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs was touring the then flood-ravaged community.
Hinds claimed that he was confronted by Wilson, who reportedly said: “For 56 years the PNM did (expletive) nothing for Beetham. Hinds is only promises you giving and doing nothing for the (expletive) people.”
Another resident, Richard “Snake” Marcelle, also allegedly cursed Hinds and kicked floodwater on him, forcing the MP to run away. Marcelle was also charged with assault by beating and using obscene language after Hinds reported the incident to the police.
Unlike Wilson, Marcelle pleaded guilty to the offences at a preliminary stage and was fined $300 for the assault and $100 for obscene language.
Under the Summary Offences Act, the offences carry maximum penalties of a $400 fine or three months in prison and a $200 fine or 30 days’ imprisonment respectively.
The evidence in the case included a television interview with Wilson, which was recorded the following day. In the interview, which was used to show his (Wilson) propensity to commit the offence, Wilson suggested that the treatment meted out to Hinds would intensify in the future.
Reporter: Derek Achong