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Victim: Montano deserves to be jailed

By Richard Charan richard.charan@trinidadexpress.com

MACHEL Montano deserves some jail time for the beating he put on his victims outside the Zen nightclub in Port of Spain that night more than five years ago.

That's the view of one of the victims who said that while Montano and the others have moved on with life and to super-stardom, the people he assaulted, and their families, remained with psychological scars.

And the families of the people who Montano kicked, cuffed and cursed said they remain deeply troubled that Montano has never showed remorse, and never apologised for his wrongdoing.

And now that the criminal case is over, the soca singers can expect to be named as defendants in the civil suits that the families intend pursuing.

Montano and Kernal Roberts were found guilty yesterday by Port of Spain Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor of assaulting Russell Pollonais, and Brandis occasioning him actual bodily harm.

Montano was convicted separately with assaulting Gerard Bowrin and Janelle Lee Chee, and with using obscene language to the annoyance of persons. The other defendants, Joel Feveck and Rodney LeBlanc, who were also charged with assaulting Pollonais, were found not guilty. Feveck was also found not guilty on the charge of assaulting Browne.

Browne, a process plant operator of Princes Town, told the Express yesterday that Montano should face prison time for his actions.

"But the reality is, this could never happen. If I could face him, I would tell him he should show some remorse instead of denying it."

Browne, who declined to be photographed, said the attack on the night of April 26, 2007 has followed him like a shadow.

"Every time you walk into a social event, it's like people saying you were the person who got beat up by Machel."

Browne said that in the months following the incident, then human rights attorney Anand Ramlogan represented them.

Browne said he would be seeking a civil attorney to begin action against the people who assaulted him.

Bowrin was not at his Princes Town home when the Express visited, but family members said the offences committed by Montano and the others were too serious to warrant community service or a fine.

"They don't know how this has impacted the lives of these boys. Nobody speaking about the psychological damage to these children. They living this every day," a family member said.

Pollonais could not be contacted for comment last night.

However at the home of Janelle Lee Chee in San Fernando, relatives said they were relieved the case was coming to a close.

Lee Chee now lives in the United States, having completed studies in agriculture and system engineering.

A relative said: "I just want to say that justice has been served. It is something we wanted to get off our shoulders."

The relative said of the possible sentence to be faced by Montano: "I think it would be better served if he was given community service. He might be a more positive influence to young people if he was asked to do something like that."

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