Aug 31, 2010 News
Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson yesterday refused to grant bail to a man accused of fleecing 13 persons who attempted to purchase vehicles from him.
Robert Allan Gates, 53, of Lot 30 Seaforth Street Kitty, was not required to plead to 13 counts of obtaining money by false pretence when he made his court appearance.
Gates is accused of obtaining over $8M over a seven-month period from 13 unsuspecting customers who attempted to purchase vehicles from him. The court was told that Gates collected the monies as down payments for various vehicles which he claimed he could have acquired.
Clad in a stripe blue shirt and black long pants, with dark sunglasses, Gates stood calmly as the 13 charges were read to him by the magistrate.
Gates who was unrepresented by counsel, at one point explained that the matters before the court were all of a contractual basis. He told the court that his business is registered, adding that he had recently applied for a dealership licence.
According to Gates, the entire problem stemmed from his business partner not living up to his end of the bargain. He explained that his partner, who lives in the United States of America, would normally supply vehicles to him, but failed to do so on this occasion.
“I would send the money to him and he would purchase and ship the vehicles down to Guyana” said Gates. He opined that no legal advice was sought in the matter, which forced him to lodge a written complaint to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Shalimar Ali-Hack.
Gates said he has been supplying vehicles to various reputable companies for over nine years, and never encountered this problem.
As it related to bail, Gates told the magistrate that he preferred to stay in prison.
“My worship, bail? I think I would sleep better if I’m in jail….plus I know the prosecutor would object to bail because of the nature of the matter,” Gates said.
Police Prosecutor Stephen Telford in his address to the court said that he was nevertheless objecting to bail even though Gates requested to be sent to prison.
As the prosecutor was addressing the court, Gates’ attorney Jean Misir walked in. The lawyer quickly apologized for his tardiness and began to make a bail application.
According to the lawyer, his client (Gates) is fully admitting that he took the money. He too reiterated that the entire problem stemmed from a deal that went sour.
The lawyer further stated that the charges against his client are misconceived, adding that the matters are civil and not criminal.
“The police are bringing these charges which are out of the universe” said the lawyer.
The magistrate remanded the accused and he is expected to make his next court appearance on September 7.
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