Montano guilty, awaits sentencing

Trinidad and Tobago reigning Groovy and Power Soca Monarch, Machel Montano, who was found guilty on a charge of beating four patrons at a popular Port of Spain nightclub some five years ago, will know his fate come Jan. 17 next year.

Port of Spain Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gaffoor on Monday, Dec. 10 found the 37-year-old Soca star guilty on five criminal charges of assaulting Russell Pollonais occasioning him bodily harm, a similar charge for beating Brandis Browne, assaulting Gerard Bowrin and Janelle Lee Chee. He was also charged with using obscene language to the annoyance of persons at the Zen Night Club on April 26, 2007 in Port of Spain.

Also found guilty on two assault charges was Kernel Roberts, producer and songwriter and son of the late “Grand Master” calypsonian Lord Kitchener.

Two of Montano’s friends, Rodney “Benjai’ LeBlanc, and Joel “Zan” Feveck who were charged in connection with the assault outside the nightclub were freed by the Magistrate.

Both Montano and Roberts are to be sentenced on Jan. 17 next year.

The cultural ambassador for Trinidad and Tobago was at the nightclub along with several of his friends, including Roberts celebrating his winning the Road March title of that year with “Jumbie.”

The State’s case against Montano was that in a fit of rage he assaulted the four persons outside the nightclub after one of them spilled a drink on one of his (Montano’s) female friends while they were dancing in the club.

Montano, however, denied the allegations, saying he was the one that was attacked by the group, cursed and spat on.

Montano could face up to five years in jail or a fine and ordered to pay the victims compensation.

Montano first rose to fame as a nine year-old boy with the song “Too Young to Soca,” while he was still in primary school in 1984.

Roberts, is a producer, drummer, singer and songwriter, who amassed a string of Road March winning compositions in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He is currently the creative director at Rama Studios, which operates out of “Rainorama” – Kitchener’s former home in Diego Martin.