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Offline Tallman

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A good Trini wine is healthy
« on: August 30, 2005, 07:01:22 PM »
Trinidad Newsday

SAYING that the manner in which four women performed striptease acts in a night club over the weekend was not unlike that seen during Carnival, calypso and chutney shows, an attorney yesterday pleaded with a magistrate to exercise leniency.

Defence attorney Meewahal Chatoor told San Fernando Magis-trate Melvin Daniel that if the type of dancing police arrested and charged four women with was considered offensive, then revellers during Carnival could also be brought to court. "Is this really offensive?"

Chatoor asked. "This is part of Trinidad culture. It is not really a criminal offence," the attorney told Daniel.

Chatoor asked the magistrate to consider that the women accused were providing a service.

"A good Trini wine is considered healthy," attorney Chatoor submitted to the magistrate.

Yesterday, Simone Mahadeo, 23, Desiree John, 20, Isha Devinish, 21, and Kirby-Ann John, 17, of Diego Martin and Laventille, pleaded guilty in the Fourth Court before Daniel to performing lewd and suggestive dancing.

Two other women of Chaguanas, who were given their own bail after their arrest for the same offence, did not turn up in court for the hearing and the magistrate issued warrants for their arrest.

Mark Robinson and Sara Basdeo — owners of "Furious Pub" on Mucurapo Street, San Fernando, where the girls were arrested — also pleaded guilty in court yesterday to aiding and abetting lewd and suggestive dancing. William Moore was also charged with aiding and abetting the girls’ lewd and suggestive dancing, and he pleaded not guilty to the offence.

Mahadeo, Devnish, Desiree and Kirby-John admitted to the facts — that at about 9.40 am they were caught dancing wearing only brassieres and thong panties inside the nightclub. According to the facts read by WP Cpl Hodge, the women were exposing their breasts and private parts to patrons and invited patrons to touch them.

Hodge said the defendants had no previous convictions against them.

In mitigation, however, Chattoor told Daniel, "If these young people are bringing cathartically joy to people, then they have not actually breached any statutory offence."

The attorney also argued that dancing might be considered part of "Trini culture," which did not make it an offence.

Chattoor suggested that if Daniel should penalise the defendants, then leniency should be considered.

"We are not saying they are angels," the attorney told the magistrate, "but they are young and deserve a chance."

Daniel postponed sentencing to today.
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.