The trial of the five men accused of robbing and terrorizing Land Court Judge, Nicola Pierre and her husband, Mohamed Chand, continued yesterday with the prosecution witnesses being cross-examined by Defence Counsel Adrian Thompson.
So far, six witnesses have testified in the matter. These are the Land Court Judge and her husband; security guard Ron Peters; Phillip Lewis, who was shot during the incident; Police Constable Kerwin Peters and Assistant Superintendent of Police, (ASP) Simeon Reid.
Although the witnesses were grilled by Attorney Thompson, who is representing two of the defendants, Samaroo and Narine, they maintained their stories. Most of the questions directed to the witnesses were based on various identification (ID) parades in which they participated.
The first person to take the witness box was Peters, who was the security guard on duty at the home of Pierre and her husband when they were attacked. When the lawyer told Peters that the police told him who to point out on the parade, Peters told the court that he had no help from the police in identifying one of the suspects. He denied the suggestion.
The witness explained that he positively identified the number one defendant, Premnauth Samaroo as one of the men who was part of the robbery. Peters agreed with Thompson that the men escaped after the ordeal.
Questioned as to how far the men were away from him, Peters replied 80 feet and pointed out an estimated distance to Magistrate Zamilla Ally-Seepaul. After this, the lawyer suggested to the victim that he was unable to properly see the men because the place was dark at the time.
However, Peters did not agree with this suggestion. He related that there were lights on when the robbery occurred.
When the Land Court Judge testified last week, she had told the court that she had done two ID parades via Skype video calls with ASP Reid who is attached to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Under cross-examination, she maintained that she had done two ID parades but explained that she was not able to identify anyone on the first parade. On the second ID parade, she said, that she pointed out the person holding number one. That individual turned out to be Nicholas Narine, the number three accused.
When asked by Attorney Thompson if she had ever given a statement to the police with a description of the suspect, the witness replied “yes”. Pierre said that in her statement she described Narine as being of mixed race, not taller that six feet and medium build. She said, too that at the time of the invasion on her home, he was wearing a red and white T-shirt and short pants.
At this point, Prosecutor Nigel Hughes provided the witness with her statement and instructed her to locate where the description of the man was written. This was subsequently read out aloud to the court.
Going through copies of the various statements, Thompson suggested to the witness that she had mistakenly picked out his client on the ID parade. To this, Pierre responded, “I am not mistaken.” In response to an earlier question, the Land Court Judge related that only she, ASP Reid and the suspects were a part of the ID parades.
Pierre’s husband Mohamed Chand was last to take the stand. When questioned by Thompson as to whether he had done an ID parade, the witness replied in the affirmative.
According to Chand, he had done two ID parades by the same means as his wife. He explained that he pointed out Narine on the second parade while Millington was picked out on the first.
This witness did, however, accept that he did not provide the police with a description of the perpetrators in his statement.
Several other witnesses are scheduled to testify when the trial continues today in the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court. These include ASP Reid, who will continue giving evidence. The ASP had started his testimony last Thursday and was scheduled to continue yesterday. However, he was excused by the court to be part of a special investigation.
Premnauth Samaroo; Damien Millington, 22 of Lot 118 Caesar Street, Agricola Nicholas Narine, 18, also of Caesar Street Agricola; Anthony David, 28 of 63 Hadfield Street, Stabroek and Warren Mc Kenzie, 22 of Lot 18 Brutus Street, Agricola are jointly facing three charges, two for the offence of robbery under-arms committed on Pierre and her husband and another for the offence of discharging a loaded firearm at security guard, Ron Peters.
Pierre, Chand and Peters have so far positively identified four of the defendants (Samaroo, Millington, Narine and McKenzie) as the ones who were part of the robbery/invasion that occurred on July 9, last, in the gated community of Felicity, East Coast Demerara.
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