Jul 26, 2017 News
The trial of Cadet Officer Franz Paul who is accused of shooting a 15-year-old boy in the mouth three years ago, continued yesterday before Magistrate Fabayo Azore, with testimony from his father, Mervin Paul, and sister, Nadia Paul.
The witnesses were called by Franz Paul’s Attorney-at-Law Roger Yearwood when the Cadet Officer continued to lead his defence.
It is alleged that on April 30, 2014 at Georgetown, Franz Paul discharged a loaded firearm at Alex Griffith, who was 15 years old at the time, with intent to maim, disable, disfigure or cause him grievous bodily harm. It is also alleged that on the same day, Franz Paul inflicted grievous bodily harm on, and assaulted the teenager.
The accused, who was charged since 2014, has been released on High Court bail with respect to both matters.
According to reports, Franz Paul’s sister was robbed on April 30, 2014.
Thereafter, the Cadet Officer reportedly took her to the police station to make a formal report of the incident. Based on information received, Griffith was later arrested by a party of policemen headed by Franz Paul. It was during the process that the Cadet Officer allegedly discharged a loaded firearm in the teen’s mouth.
During an identification parade held at the Brickdam Police Station, Griffith positively identified his alleged shooter as Franz Paul.
During her testimony, Nadia Paul told the court that on the day in question at around 13:30hrs, she left her home at Lot 189 Freeman Street, East La Penitence to attend Law classes at the University of Guyana (UG). She recounted that around 20:30hrs, she left UG for home in a bus. The witness said that she stopped off in the vicinity of the East La Penitence Police Station and walked through Freeman Street en route to her home.
According to Nadia Paul, “I saw two young men dressed in short pants. One of (them) was wearing an orange jersey and the other a striped jersey. They were both wearing caps.” She recounted that she was unable to view their faces because the street was dark and because “they (the young men) were backing the church light.”
She related that one of the men grabbed her shoulder bag containing her text books, cellular phone and other items. She further related that she and the man who grabbed her shoulder bag got into a scuffle during which the other man sprayed her in the face with a “burning substance” which burned her eyes, nose and mouth.
Nadia Paul recalled, “I went into a nearby yard and washed off my face. I saw several persons in that yard.” The woman told the court that she did not know Griffith prior to the robbery and that she did not see him while she was washing off her face or anywhere around. “I made my way home and told my mother what happened. Thereafter, she and my brother, Franz Paul, took me to the East La Penitence Police Station where I gave a statement,” the witness said.
A police patrol transported she and her mother home, Nadia Paul disclosed.
She added that she was asked by police ranks on the patrol to point on the area where the incident occurred and she did.
She further disclosed that while on her way home, another police patrol consisting of her brother, passed by. A few minutes later, Nadia Paul said that her mother accompanied her back to the robbery scene, where she saw police speaking to a young man who was shirtless. “I told the police that the (shirtless) young man based on his height and build seemed to be one of the attackers.”
Under cross-examination by Police Prosecutor Stephen Telford, Nadia Paul stated that her brother was dressed in khaki police uniform and that he was not armed with a gun.
Also testifying was Mervin Paul, who told the court that on the day in question he was proceeding home when he was stopped by a villager who told him of an incident involving his daughter. The man said that he walked in proximity of the robbery scene, where he spoke to a neighbour but obtained no useful information.
When questioned by Attorney Yearwood, the father denied knowing “Alex Griffith” or ever hearing the name before, although he admitted that he is aware that his son is charged with an offence.
The trial will continue on August 15, with the defence calling its final witness who has to be summoned to attend court.
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