With hands and legs shackled, and accompanied by three policemen, 47-year-old taxi driver Mathew Munroe appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court shortly after 14:00 hrs yesterday, accused of killing 22-year-old teacher Kescia Branche.
A perspiring and visibly nervous Munroe, of Diamond Housing Scheme, stood in the prisoner’s dock before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan. He was not required to plead to the indictable charge which alleges that on November 7 at Georgetown, he murdered Kescia Branche.
The father of six was remanded to prison and was instructed to make his next court appearance on January 9, 2018, for the commencement of the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) into the matter.
The accused was represented by Attorney-at-Law George Thomas.
The lawyer told the court that his client while in custody was beaten repeatedly by officers to sign a statement, but did not.
The attorney added that when Branche was murdered, his client was at no time physically present in Georgetown and his cell phone, which police have, will show that he was communicating with Branche, but was nowhere near to her.
When Police Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield addressed the court, he stated that the file is incomplete, citing that they are a few points that need to be cleared up.
He added that the file has to be sent back to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Munroe’s wife, who is Georgetown’s Deputy Town Clerk, Sharon Harry-Munroe, was present in court. She sat quietly in the court room as her husband entered and exited through the prisoners’ chute.
Munroe was detained last week, after returning from an overseas vacation. He reportedly travelled “on vacation” to the US, around the same time that Branche was found unconscious in Louisa Row.
Police impounded his vehicle, which had sustained damage, and had a missing bumper.
Munroe reportedly told police that he had driven into a pothole on the East Coast of Demerara. He was reportedly unable to show police the location.
Shortly after Monroe was remanded, Acting Crime Chief Paul Williams, who had repeatedly vowed that his ranks would solve the case, expressed gratitude to the public for their patience and assistance.
“I am very happy and thankful for the support we received from the people who came forward and cooperated with the police, and the friends, family (of the victim) and members of the public for their confidence in us.”
The 22-year-old Branche was found badly battered on November 5, last.
She succumbed at the Georgetown Public Hospital without regaining consciousness.
According to reports, her injuries appeared to be consistent with those inflicted by the impact of a vehicle. A post mortem revealed that she succumbed to brain haemorrhage, caused by blunt trauma to the head.
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