Montano fined, spared jail time

Photo by William Farrington

Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor, presiding in the Port of Spain, Trinidad, Magistrate Court on Tuesday (March 25) rejected a plea for Montano and songwriter Kernal Roberts, who was also convicted on two assault charges, to serve community service for the offenses.

On Dec. 10, last year, Montano was found guilty on four charges, assaulting Gerard Bowrin, Janelle Lee Chee, Brandis Browne and Russell Pollonais during a fracas at the Zen nightclub in Port of Spain, on April 26, 2007.

Roberts was found guilty of assaulting both Browne and Pollonais.

Montano was fined a total of TT $13,700 (US$2,250) and ordered to pay compensation to the four victims totaling TT$13,500.

Montano, 38, the reigning Groovy and Soca Monarch champion, who was also charged with using obscene language was reprimanded and discharged by the magistrate.

Failure to pay the fines, Montano could face up to two years in prison.

Roberts, son of calypso legend, the late Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts), was fined a total of $13,000 and ordered to pay $4,000 in compensation to Browne and Pollonais. Browne will receive TT$10,000 or Browne will face six months in jail.

Both accused were allowed until March 4 to pay the fines and compensation.

The case against Montano and Roberts were in April 2007, a group of men including Montano and Roberts went to the nightclub to celebrate Montano winning that year’s Road March title with “Jumbie” when they got into an altercation with the four victims after Montano refused to dance with a woman.

Speaking to the media after the decision, Montano said the duration of the matter was a trying time for him to stay strong and focused.

“But I live one day at a time and I will continue to do that. The love I received from my fans and my family is very much appreciated because love is what keeps me going,” he said.

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