The failure of a labourer from La Brea to prove his malicious prosecution case against a group of police officers, who charged him with marijuana possession, will now cost him financially.
Danny Dhanesar, of Chinese Village, La Brea, was ordered to pay the legal costs incurred by the Office of the Attorney General to defend his lawsuit after it was dismissed by High Court Judge Frank Seepresad following a brief virtual trial, yesterday.
In his oral judgement, Seepersad ruled that Dhanesar’s case was devoid of merit as he found that the police officers had reasonable and probable cause and did not act with malice.
According to evidence presented during the trial, Dhanesar claimed that police fabricated the case against him after they executed a search warrant on his home on August 18, 2014.
Dhanesar claimed that although the officers did not find anything illegal in his house, they still arrested and charged him for marijuana possession.
The officers denied any wrongdoing and claimed that it was Dhanesar who took them to an empty lot near his home and showed them a parcel of marijuana, which he claimed was his.
Dhanesar filed the lawsuit after he was found not guilty of the charge in January 2016.
In his judgement, Seepersad noted that the dismissal of the case by the magistrate did not mean that Dhanesar could automatically succeed his claim before him. He noted that while Dhanesar, his brother Dane, and their mother Jean Siewsankar, who were present during the search by police, were credible witnesses in the trial, he noted that PC Jameer Ali and Inspector Terrance Victor, who testified for the State, were also convincing.
Seepersad rejected claims by Dhanesar that Ali had been victimising him before the search warrant was executed as he had stopped him in the street and searched him several times prior.
He suggested that Ali’s suspicion of Dhanesar was likely due to the fact that he admitted that he had five previous convictions for marijuana possession.
Seepersad also said that he placed little weight on the fact that Dhanesar had claimed that he had pleaded guilty to the previous charges but chose to challenge this one as he was framed.
“People plead guilty in a myriad of circumstances, even sometimes when they are not guilty,” Seepersad said.
He also noted that the officers obtained the search warrant the day before it was executed.
“Why would he have a warrant and not show it. It defies logic,” Seepersad said.
He noted that such allegations against officers should be made with caution as it had the potential to taint police officers’ careers.
“The evidence of fabrication was weak and baseless,” Seepersad said. Dhanesar was represented by Kevin Ratiram, while Sasha Sukhram and Tiffany Kissoon represented the State.