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Last day for Carmona on the Bench

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin nikita.braxton@trinidadexpress.com

JUSTICE Anthony Carmona will spend his final day on the job today, making decisions in at least six criminal cases.

Carmona, who has been nominated to be this country's next President, yesterday adjourned three matters that came up for sentencing before him.

He also sent away the jury in the case involving Dwayne Pope who is charged with possession of narcotics. All the matters were put off to today.

Carmona is also expected to review the sentences of two men who killed members of their families and were sent to the St Ann's Hospital.

Eighty-year-old Carlton Cummings will also reappear before Carmona today. Cummings pleaded guilty to wounding Joseph Emmanuel Bishop and assaulting Bishop's wife, Mariana Bain.

Carmona was expected to rule in several of the cases yesterday, but asked for further information before passing judgment.

In the case of Cummings, State attorney Mauriceia Joseph told the court that around 4.30 p.m on May 23, 2003, Cummings had an altercation with Bishop and chopped him several times.

Defence attorney Richard Valere said that in March last year, his client suffered a stroke.

Carmona had asked for Cummings's medical records on Wednesday, but Valere said he went to the medical facility where his client is an outpatient, and it was closed. He said he was unable to get the records. He will make another attempt to have the records available to the court today.

Cummings will then be sentenced.

Accused Kerry Gour, 35, of La Brea, who pleaded guilty to setting fire at his relative's home on September 11, 2005, is also expected to be sentenced today.

Defence attorney Saira Lakhan said her client had a history of mental illness and had already spent seven years awaiting trial.

She said should Gour be released from jail, his brother will ensure the former mechanic and farmer takes his medication and visits the psychiatrist.

But Carmona raised issue over Gour's living arrangements, should he be released, and adjourned the case for today to allow for the attorney to address him on a" fair and holistic" sentencing regime for her client.

Sentencing was put off in the case of Jerome Barker, a security guard who pleaded guilty to charges of possession of guns and ammunition in 2006.

His matter was expected to be heard before Carmona on February 20, but with Carmona vacating the position as judge, the case was fast-tracked to yesterday.

Carmona said he was yet to receive and review the notes taken during Barker's last court appearance and adjourned the case to today.

Carmona is also expected to review the sentences of Michael McSween and Luke Gloudon.

In 2003, McSween was sentenced to St Ann's Hospital at the court's pleasure for murdering his sister, unlawfully killing his mother and wounding his two sisters.

Gloudon is also at the hospital, following the 2002 chopping death of his 72-year-old father Nestor Gloudon in Moruga.

Luke Gloudon, who is schizophrenic, has been at the Forensic Unit of the St Ann's Hospital since 2007.

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