Prisons’ chief wants closure on 2015 jailbreak

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 12:30

Commissioner of Prisons Gerard Wilson yesterday called for closure “once and for all” in the deadly jailbreak at the Port-of-Spain (PoS) Prison.

Speaking with the T&T Guardian yesterday, which marked the three-year anniversary of the event, Wilson said closure was of utmost importance because “it will inform the Prison Service what type of security lapses would have taken place”.

But Prisons Officers Association president Ceron Richards said he believes there is a major cover-up of the true facts in the jailbreak.

On July 24, 2015, at about 12.30 pm inmates Hassan Atwell, Christopher “Monster” Selby and Allan “Scanny” Martin pointed guns at prison officers on duty inside the prison. Martin got the keys to the front gate, which he opened for them to run out onto Frederick Street. PC Sherman Maynard was shot as the escapees targeted the vehicle he was sitting in. He subsequently died at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.

Martin was shot dead by police on the hospital’s compound. Atwell and Selby escaped but Atwell was gunned down on July 25 at East Dry River, PoS. On July 26, Selby surrendered at the Barataria Police Station. On August 3, 2015, two suspension letters were handed out - one to an acting Supt of Prisons and a prisons officer. A third prisons officer was subsequently suspended the next day.

Yesterday, Wilson said it is critical the matter is concluded.

“The fact that there are prisons officers on suspension as a result of the incident, including an Assistant Superintendent, makes it imperative that we can come to some conclusion,” he told the T&T Guardian.

Richards meanwhile said the fact that no one was held culpable makes it “even more of a serious security concern”. He added that no investigation seems to be pointing in the direction of who would have taken the guns and grenades into the prison.

He also called on the Public Service Commission (PSC) to drop all charges against the three prisons officers and reinstate them.

Richards based this call on the fact that no report on the jailbreak was given to the PSC by the Prisons Service.

“We would have learnt also that no investigation was done and nobody in the prison service or anywhere we can find made allegations against those three officers. So we will still want to know, after three years, where did the PSC get the information from and what did they use to arrive at charges filed against those three officers?” Richards said.

Source: (Rhondor Dowlat)