Accused Linden looters on $150,000 bail each
…lawyers say clients were all taken from their homes
Five men appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court yesterday. They were brought before Magistrate Ann Mc Lennan to answer the charge of breaking and entering the Digicel Smart Store located at MacKenzie, Linden.
Orville Mitchell, 31, of 433 One Mile Linden, Devon Barker, 31,of 288 Bulletwood Street, Linden; Michael De Souza, 34, of 235 Bulletwood Street, Linden; Delon Thomas, 37, of 259 Bulletwood, Linden, and Colin Cornelius, 31, of 54 Richmond Hill MacKenzie, were jointly charged for the offence.
The police alleged that between July 18 and 19, the men broke and entered the Digicel Smart Store and stole a quantity of cell phones, one 40″ plasma television set, and accessories which totaled $9,317,000.
Between the aforementioned period, at the same location, the police said the five men further stole a quantity of cell phones and accessories; these amounted to $3,364,664.
The five men were not required to enter a plea.
Of the five defendants, three retained lawyers. Attorney- at-law Omeyana Hamilton represented Thomas; Lyndon Amsterdam made an appearance for De Souza, while Michael Somersall made a bail application for Cornelius.
The lawyers all requested bail in an affordable sum for the defendants. They also sang one tune when they said that their clients were found in the comfort of their homes when police were making searches in the area.
Defence Counsel Amsterdam addressed the court first. He said that at the time when the police visited his client he was at home. He said the ranks conducted searches at the defendant’s home and on his person, but found nothing of evidence or of an incriminating nature. The lawyer told the court that according to information he received, the police were about to leave his client’s home when one of the officers came from behind the man’s house and said he found a screen (monitor). The lawyer said his client, however, cannot confirm whether the article was found on his premises.
The lawyer did not stop there, he dared the prosecution to state whether they had any statements from witnesses claiming to have seen his client uplifting or even having the items in his possession. After stating that “the police had instituted the charges to impress someone”, Amsterdam requested that the court view the ridiculousness of the charge, since one would need a mode of transport to move the very valuable items mentioned in the charge, but still, he said, no witnesses can be produced.
Amsterdam closed with the request for the bail sum not to be influenced by the charge figure. He thus requested that bail be set in a sum “affordable to poor, ordinary citizens”.
Attorney Hamilton was next and she followed the same road. She said that he client was also taken from his home. She said the police went to her client’s residence, conducted a search, but found nothing in the home or on his person. She said her client was held when someone spoke about a chair that was found in the man’s yard, but Hamilton said that she listened to the charge and there was nothing about a chair. She also requested an affordable bail.
Attorney Somersall told the court that his client owns a fish shop at the MacKenzie bus park in Linden. He said two persons are also employed with his client and they have keys to the man’s business place. Somersall said the police are alleging that items were found in his client’s business place, but at the time, the car keys belonging to one of his client’s workers was found in the shop. He said nothing was found at his client’s home and he has addressed the police on finding the owner of the car keys. In that light, the lawyer asked for reasonable bail.
The other two men stood unrepresented. The prosecution, even with the lawyers’ challenges did not object to bail. It was only requested that the defendant’s be given substantial bail. The Magistrate granted bail in the sum of $150,000, $75,000 on each of the two charges.
Additional charges were also laid on Mitchell prior to the break and enter charge. The court said that on July 21, Mitchell was found with 19 grammes of cannabis for trafficking. He pleaded not guilty, but was remanded to jail by the court.
Another man, William Burnette was also charged for narcotics. Though the break and enter charge did not involve him, it was alleged that he had 93 grammes of cannabis and three grammes of cocaine in his possession while at the MacKenzie Market on July 21. He too was remanded. For the charges, the men will all go to the Christiansburg Magistrate’s Court on August 22.