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Man to pay $11,000 for driving drunk, trying to bribe cop

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

A MAN who attempted to bribe a police officer to drop a drunken driving charge against him was told on Monday his behaviour was reprehensible.

Jameel Ashoon blamed alcohol for his illegal act.

He was fined a total of $11,000.

San Fernando Magistrate Rehanna Hosein heard that around 12.25 a.m. last Saturday, Ashoon was stopped by Constable Hinds during a police exercise along the SS Erin Road, Debe.

While speaking to Ashoon, 23, of Penal, the smell of alcohol was detected on his breath and Ashoon admitted he drank “about five beers”.

He was told of the suspicion he was over the legal 35-microgramme limit to be behind the wheel of the car, and was handed over to breathalyser technician, Constable Sookhai.

While inside a police vehicle, the prosecutor said, Ashoon “pushed his hand into his right pants pocket and pulled out a quantity of cash and handed it over to Sookhai”.

He told the officer, “Here, take that $2,000 in here. I have a bar and I could give you whatever you want. Give me a chance on the breath test, nah.” Sookhai told Ashoon about the offence of offering a police officer a bribe during the execution of his duty.

The breathalyser test was administered and Ashoon was found to be 38 microgrammes over the legal limit. He was charged with both offences.

When asked by Hosein the reason for driving while drunk, Ashoon said he was in charge of his sister’s bar and had drinks on the job before heading home.

Asked what made him try to bribe the policeman, Ashoon said, “(I was) under the alcohol, I guess.”

Hosein told Ashoon his beha­viour was “reprehensible” and he was tarnishing the reputation of good police officers. She fined him $8,000 for attempting to bribe the officer. In default, he will serve three years’ hard labour.

A $3,000 fine was ordered to be paid for driving drunk, or Ashoon will spent nine months in jail.

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