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PROMOTER DENIES POLICE STORY on Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:28 pm

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Norman Grindley - Tommy Thompson, CEO of Brite Lite Funeral Home.
… says children were not arrested at venue

Roxroy McLean, Star Intern

Promoter Tommy Thompson says he plans to take legal action against the St Thomas Police Division, after reports yesterday revealed that several underage children were allegedly picked up from his stage show last weekend.

In a report published in this newspaper, the police said that during an operation at the event (The Settlement) they arrested 12 boys between the ages of seven and 17.The operation was carried out as part of an initiative in the parish to rid dancehall and other entertainment venues of children.

Head of the St Thomas police, Superintendent Mervin McNabb told THE STAR previously that investigations are ongoing as the police seek to find the person responsible for the organisation of the event.

Superintendent McNabb also said it was too early to pinpoint any specific person as he or she may not have been the one who applied for the permit. However, Thompson, who owns Brite Lite Funeral Home, has refuted the claims while saying he and his lawyer plan to take strong legal action.

tightly secured

"Actually, I'm having a meeting with my lawyer because evidently someone is out to discredit my show. Why wasn't this reported the following day in question? Why wait a week after the event? All these questions must come into play," said Thompson.

Thompson is refusing to accept that there were actually children inside the venue, as the premises was tightly secured by several high-ranking officers, as well was private security personnel, who were given specific orders.

"High-ranking officers were noticed constantly walking around the venue before, during and after the event. I can surely say that at no time children were allowed inside, much less at the gate. In fact, a man can't get in the venue if he doesn't pay," Thompson added.

He also said that it was impossible for the police to blame the event for the children's wandering, as the arrest was made a good distance from the venue and almost two hours prior the event.

According to the police report, the children were taken before the St Thomas Children's Court on Monday and their parents were summoned to appear in the Yallahs Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday March 3, to answer to breaches of the Child Care and Protection Act.

The Settlement, held at Links in Yallahs, St Thomas, was advertised as the burial ground for several artistes who were billed to face-off. The show saw clashes between Mr G and L.A. Lewis; Queen Paula and Lisa Hyper and Merciless versus Gabriel.









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