Jan 15, 2016 News
Ron Peters, the security guard on duty at the home of Commissioner of Title,
Nicola Pierre and her husband Mohammed Chand when they were attacked, testified that there were exchanges of gunfire between him and the alleged bandits.
The guard gave vivid details of how he ran for cover, as the trial for the five men accused of carrying out the crime continued yesterday before Magistrate Zamilla Ally-Seepaul at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court.
Peters, who has been employed with the couple for the past five years, told the court that on the day in question, he was standing in the guard hut armed with a rifle. He explained that he noticed six men walking through an adjacent street. One of the men, he said, was carrying a square object while another was holding a suitcase and another, a bag.
According to the witness, the men walked on to the East Coast Demerara Public Road and hid themselves behind vehicles parked on the southern side of the road. He recalled that a little while after, one of the men came out and appeared to be “flagging down” a vehicle.
Peters continued, “As the vehicle came closer, I saw him (the man) put his hand at his right side waist then I hear a loud explosion”. He recounted that the car drove faster and a man on the Public Road raised his hands at him and shouted, “Don’t call nobody if you ain’t want a shootout”.
The guard stated that as the man pointed at him, he took cover and fired three shots in his direction. He estimated that the man was at least 80 feet away from him.
“After that, the five males who were behind the vehicle came out and started shooting at me.”
Peters informed the court that he returned seven shots. He said that as the men ran through a nearby street, he recognized some of the items they were carrying.
Peters told the court that the men escaped without the items. Peters related that after they were gone, Mohamed Chand came downstairs and he told him about what had transpired.
The victim said he went over to where the men had been hiding and noticed some of the items behind a vehicle. The police were called in to investigate the scene and took possession of the items that included a vault and two spent shells.
Peters completed giving evidence and will be cross examined by Attorney Adrian Thompson, who is representing two of the defendants, when the trial continues next Monday (January 18).
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Simeon Reid also testified yesterday. His testimony was based on two identification (ID) parades he conducted with the land court judge and her husband via Skype video calls nine days after the incident. Police Constable Kerwin Peters and Phillip Lewis, who was shot during the confrontation, also took to the stand.
Warren Mc Kenzie, 22 of Lot 18 Brutus Street, Agricola; Damien Millington, 22 of Lot 118 Caesar Street, Agricola Nicholas Narine, 18, also of Caesar Street Agricola; Premnauth Samaroo and Anthony David, 28 of 63 Hadfield Street, Stabroek, are jointly facing three charges.
The first charge alleges that on July 9, 2015 at Montrose, East Coast Demerara (ECD), the men, armed with handguns, robbed Mohamed Chand of five wrist watches, a Samsung Galaxy S5 phone, US$8,000, a wedding ring, four Oakley sunglasses and one leather wallet.
The second charge alleges that the intruders robbed Pierre at gunpoint on the same day. She was relieved of a several gold rings, diamond jewellery, a clump of gold, a quantity of gem stones among other items, all totaling about $1M.
In addition, the men are also charged with discharging a loaded firearm at Ron Peters, with intent to maim, disable, disfigure or cause him grievous bodily harm.
They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges and are currently on remand.
Narine and Samaroo have retained Thompson as their lawyer. The other defendants remain unrepresented.
The trial for the alleged robbers began on Monday with Attorney Nigel Hughes presenting the prosecution’s case.
Pierre and her husband have completed testifying. They have also positively identified three of the five men (Narine, McKenzie and Millington) as the ones who stormed their home last July 9, in the gated community of Felicity, East Coast Demerara.
Due to the severe beatings by the intruders, Chand, a businessman, received extensive injuries to his right eye and was forced to have it removed even after he had done three surgeries in Miami, Florida, USA. His wife, Pierre, flew to Canada, where she had a surgery done on her face. She also received injuries to her right hand.
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