While some elderly people are resting comfortably at home with family members, 78-year-old Walter De Goeas, of 2 Princes Street, Charlestown, would have to face the harsh reality of prison life.
He is accused of setting fire to his home with the intent of causing harm to his wife, Cowari De Goeas, on January 5, 2009.
When he appeared before acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson on Thursday, De Goeas pleaded not guilty.
According to defence lawyer Patrice Henry, Walter De Goeas has being in custody since Monday. The lawyer added that being in custody makes the case very hard, “since every day is a challenge, because of his age.”
The attorney then told the court that his client is willing to compensate his wife for the damage done to the property, but that he needed about seven months to find the $3M.
Police Prosecutor Sherwin Matthews told the court that De Goeas and with his wife shared the home, but that they used separate bedrooms.
Matthews said that if bail was granted to De Goeas, it was uncertain where the defendant would go, because he cannot return to the same house at this time.
The prosecutor further told the court that the fire was set whilst De Goeas was at the front of the house. The woman was alerted by her neighbours, who “shouted fire,” and it was at that point that she saw the blaze.
Also appearing before the said magistrate was Wanda Francis, 23, of Canefield, East Canje; and Cao Chi-Lan, 52, of Port Mourant, Corentyne, Berbice. Both were remanded on human trafficking charges.
It is alleged that Francis, on December 24, at Charity, Essequibo, engaged in trafficking of a person. A further charge states that she transported a 15-year-old for the purpose of exploitation. She pleaded not guilty.
It was alleged that Lang, on December 26 and on January 3, at New Garden Restaurant, Port Mourant, Berbice, trafficked and kept the teen at her restaurant for the purpose of exploitation. She also pleaded not guilty.
The two women were represented by attorney-at-law Bernard De Santos, who, in a bid to secure bail for his clients, told the court that even if the allegations are correct, the accused are established people within the community, and have no need to do this.
He further told the court that the person whom the police are alleging was “trafficked” is the cousin of one of the defendants.
Bail was opposed by the prosecution, and the two women are expected to make their court appearance on January 13. The matter was also transferred to the Charity Magistrate’s Court.
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