PORT OF SPAIN businessman Gerald Aboud was on Tuesday sent to the St Ann's Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, when his attorney tendered two letters from two mental health professionals after Aboud pleaded guilty to three traffic offences.
The letters were part of Aboud's plea of mitigation before Port of Spain First Court Magistrate Nalini Singh.
His attorney, Fareed Ali, presented these letters during Aboud's hearing.
Upon receipt of the letters, Magistrate Singh excused herself from the court. Before doing so, she informed Ali that she was in no position to consider the contents, saying she was not qualified to do so.
Minutes later, she returned.
She ordered that Aboud "be remanded in custody to St Ann's for a mental evaluation".
Ali and his client appeared surprised.
Ali asked if Aboud could report to the mental facility on his own time.
Magistrate Singh replied: "Mr Ali, I have made my order."
Following this, Aboud—who was on bail at the time—was escorted away, to be taken to St Ann's.
The charges are that around 10.30 a.m. on April 24, along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway near Aranjuez, Aboud stopped while riding a red Ducati motorbike.
According to the charges, the bike was unregistered, the number plate was false and he did not have a permit.
On August 17, Aboud will be brought back to court for a decision to be made following his evaluation. —Gyasi Gonzales