assault charges: Arlene Blackman, principal of Blackman's Private School, leaves the Port of Spain Magistrates' Court yesterday. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

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Principal in court

Pupils' heads allegedly flushed

By Rickie Ramdass rickie.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

THE principal of Blackman's Private School, who is accused of assaulting two pupils by flushing their heads in a toilet bowl, made her first appearance in the Port of Spain Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Arlene Blackman, 67, appeared before Magistrate Christine Charles shortly after 10 a.m., on two charges of wilfully assaulting the boys — ages nine and ten — contrary to the Children Act.

The offences are alleged to have taken place last week Tuesday on the school's compound located at Saddle Road, Maraval.

During her appearance, Blackman was not called upon to plead to the indictable charges.

She was represented by defence attorneys Pamela Elder SC and Richard Mason.

Police prosecutor Sgt Anderson Gonzales told the court a criminal background trace of the accused had been obtained which revealed she had no previous or pending matters before the court.

Charles, presiding in the Fifth Court, endorsed the $150,000 bail bond which was granted to Blackman by a Justice of the Peace at the Central Police Station after she had been charged on Thursday.

Several of the accused's relatives sat in court and listened as the matter proceeded. Relatives of the alleged victims were not in court when the matter was called.

Charles also reminded members of the media to exercise caution when reporting on the matter, stating that the boys' identities needed to be protected given the sensitivity of the matter and the ages of the alleged victims. The matter will continue on February 16.

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