Two men, who allegedly opened fire on cops at Norton and Chapel Streets, Lodge in Georgetown on Emancipation Day, were yesterday charged and remanded.
Jamal Jerioh, 21, a clothes vendor of Lot 237 B Albert Street, Queenstown, Georgetown and Junior John, 32, a father of one, and mason of East La Penitence, Georgetown, were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan. They were charged jointly along with former murder accused and robbery convict Carlton Bourne, 23, of Whim. Corentyne, Berbice.
However, Bourne, who was on Monday remanded to prison on three counts of robbery under-arms, was absent from court yesterday. It appears as though prison officials were unaware that he had to be brought to court to face new charges.
Particulars of the charge against Jerioh and John alleged that on August 1, at John and Chapel Streets, Georgetown, they, along with Bourne, discharged a loaded firearm at Police Constables Royston Mendonza and Lester Lewis, with intent to maim, disfigure, disable or cause them grievous bodily harm.
They were not required to plead to the indictable charges, which were read to them in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
According to reports, police ranks had stopped motorcar PSS 4647, and soon after one of the men started to shoot at them. In the end, Jerioh was left nursing gunshot wounds to the back and left shoulder.
From the police account of what transpired, ranks on mobile patrol in Georgetown, observed suspicious movement of a motorcar in the city, and followed it into Princes Street, where two occupants exited with handguns and proceeded into a yard.
Two ranks went in pursuit of the men – believed to be John and Bourne – while the vehicle continued to Norton and Chapel Streets where another armed male (allegedly Jerioh) exited. He too was pursued by two other ranks and in the process, he discharged his weapon at the ranks, who returned fire.
John and Bourne were also arrested. After scouring the crime scene, police recovered one .357 revolver with four live rounds and one spent shell. Jerioh received medical attention at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, where he was admitted as a patient under guard.
Before the said Magistrate, Jerioh faced charges for unlawful possession of a gun and several rounds of ammunition.
Particulars of the charges alleged that on August 1, at John and Chapel Streets, Georgetown, he had a .357 revolver and four rounds of matching ammunition in his possession when he was not the holder of a firearm licence enforced at the time.
Jerioh denied the allegations and was further remanded.
Attorneys Paul Fung-a-Fat and Kezia Williams represented John and Jerioh respectively.
Both of them requested for their clients to be released on bail.
In an effort to secure bail for her client on the unlawful gun and ammo charges, Williams told the court that Jerioh is an expectant father and the sole breadwinner for his family. According to the lawyer, this is the first time that he has had brushes with the law.
The legal representative went on to tell the court that after her client was arrested, he was held at the Golden Grove lock-ups on the East Bank of Demerara. The lawyer claimed that although police were aware that her client sustained gunshot wounds, they never took him to see a doctor.
Williams said that the wounds are oozing. However, Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield opposed bail for Jerioh, citing the serious nature of the offences. The prosecutor also pointed out that the defence raised no special reasons to the court for its consideration on bail.
In fact, the prosecutor pointed out that the gun and ammunition were discovered in Jerioh’s waist.
Touching on the issue that Jerioh was not taken for medical attention, Prosecutor Mansfield related to the court that Jerioh was shot by the police after it was alleged that he opened fire on the law enforcement officers.
Jerioh, the prosecutor added, was taken to public hospital where he was admitted as a patient under police guard.
The Chief Magistrate remanded both defendants until August 27, when Bourne is also expected to appear in court to answer to the charges.
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