Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Paralysed taxi driver on bail

Weeks after saving himself from house fire...


ten charges: Wheelchair-bound Steve Brown is escorted out of the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court yesterday. —Photo: INNIS FRANCIS

Mark Fraser

STEVE Brown, the paralysed man who escaped from a fire by throwing himself out of his burning house recently, went to prison last night.

Brown turned up at the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court yesterday on ten outstanding warrants.

He told the magistrate that he had missed his court dates because of the difficulty he encounters as a disabled person.

Brown, 51, is in paralysed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair.

He drives a car that has been modified for a disabled person.

After the fire at Mon Repos, San Fernando last month, Brown was visited by Minister of the People Glenn Ramadharsingh who gave him a new wheelchair, a hamper valued at $4,000 and promised to help him get a temporary home.

Traffic Court Magistrate Rehanna Hosein told Brown that he had a “series of matters” and was supposed to appear in court on January 9.

“Being disabled is difficult, especially in this area and in this country,” Brown said.

He told the magistrate that when he asked for assistance, it was not always easy for him to get transportation.

“It is not that I’m running from the matters,” he said.

Brown turned himself over to the police yesterday morning on the ten charges.

It is alleged he failed to wear his seat belt and failed to stop when required by a police officer and several times he was found driving without insurance and valid driver’s permit.

The alleged incidents occurred in 2010 and 2013. Hosein told Brown that she would have believed him had it been the first time a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

She told him that there were four warrants before her.

She also told Brown that after the warrants were issued he was seen driving his taxi in the area.

“If it is so difficult for you to get to court, you shouldn’t be seen anywhere ... What you are saying is absolutely unreasonable,” Hosein said.

She issued a summons for Brown to give evidence as to why he should not have to pay the amount of money on the own bail he was granted in some of the matters.

She then placed him on $30,000 bail with a surety and ordered that he return to court on February 28.

The Express learnt that Brown’s bail was not posted yesterday and he was taken to Remand Yard at the Golden Grove Prison, Arouca.