A 17-year old child bride is released from prison as the couple’s lawyer points out to police that the law enforcing it becoming illegal to marry a minor has not gone into practice just yet. A technical difference, but in this case an important one.
The legislation, which raised the age of consent for couples to be married to 18 was already passed by the Trinidad parliament in June of this year and received a signature from President Anthony Carmona.
However, until it has passed as print in the legislative books and is published as being law entered into force, it cannot officially take effect. Trinidad officials have admitted some administrative difficulty as to speeding up the process.
Therefore, certain young men have taken the opportunity to quickly marry young girls in the country. And so it was that 28 year old Deosingh, a mechanic hailing from Aranguez, San Juan had married his girlfriend, 17 years old, just before the law entered into effect, more specifically on August 23rd, after the bill was signed in parliament.
The couple was arrested soon after as police found out that the girl was under the legal age.
The young man hired a lawyer to help him defending his young bride against the accusations and the barrister won the argument on a technicality, namely that the law had not yet passed into effect.
Deosingh said several days after the arrest he and his wife went to the Barataria Police Station to retrieve her clothes and personal items. When asked by reporters about the relationship, the young mechanic said that: "We met in Christmas last year. Since then every single day we were together, so we ended up falling in love.”
The girl’s parents were strongly opposed to the marriage though. When presented with this information, Deosingh said: "They probably wanted a doctor for her but I'm just a mechanic,"
When told the story, the office of the President responded via their spokesman, Mr Al-Rawi responded: "Let me put it this way, anything dealing with proclamation that comes to the President is dealt with very swiftly. If there is some kind of delay, it is someone else holding it up. The proclamation is just awaiting the finalization of the forms which Parliamentary Council and Registrar General has just provided. The issue will then go to Cabinet for its consideration."