“I don’t trust this court and I don’t want you to continue dealing with the matter,” said Wayne Griffith, one of the three men charged with a multi-million-dollar robbery at the Princess Casino.
Griffith was at the time speaking to Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman who is presiding over the trial at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
Griffith, 29, of Bagotville, West Bank Demerara; Junior Stuart, 30, of Thomas Street, Kitty, Georgetown and Andre Blackman, 35, of Middle Street, McDoom, East Bank Demerara, are accused of robbing Daniel Roberts and Alfea Gajadhar of $8,951,000 – property of the Princess Casino – on April 29, at Providence, East Bank Demerara.
The three men pleaded not guilty to the charge and are currently out on bail.
With 56 witnesses already called by Police Prosecutor Shawn Gonsalves, the last witness was supposed to testify yesterday. However, this did not happen as Griffith, in a loud tone, told Magistrate Latchman that he does not trust her court.
Further, Griffith accused the Magistrate of siding with the prosecution by only documenting the testimonies of State witnesses.
These accusations did not sit well with Magistrate Latchman who said to Griffith, “You have an attitude. I have spent long hours here dealing with this matter and I have taken copious notes. I have already filled three minutes books dealing with the matter.”
Consequently, Principal Magistrate Latchman said that due to Griffith’s contentions, she will have to recuse herself from hearing the trial. The Magistrate then turned to other defendants and said. “Because of Griffith, your matter will have to start all over again because he (Griffith) does not trust the court.”
Magistrate Latchman then transferred the matter to Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan with the hope of having it reassigned to another Magistrate. However, the Chief Magistrate ruled that there were not sufficient grounds for Magistrate Latchman to recuse herself from the case.
The Chief Magistrate pointed out that for Griffith to make such statements, he would need sufficient grounds as to why the matter should be moved to another court.
The matter was then returned to Magistrate Latchman.
The trial continues on September 20, when the final witness to testify.
Initially, the three robbery accused were on trial before Magistrate Leron Daly. However, after a few months, Magistrate Daly recused herself from hearing the matter. Hence, it was transferred to Magistrate Latchman who started a new trial.
According to police, four men arrived at the Ramada Hotel in a white motorcar bearing a fake number plate. They were armed with guns and entered the Princess Casino, discharging several rounds in the process.
They relieved a security guard of his shotgun and ordered patrons and staffers to lie on the ground. It was reported that the gunmen held a cashier at gunpoint and made off with local and foreign currency. Three of the alleged bandits reportedly escaped on foot, while police were able to apprehend one of them who was reportedly trapped in the casino.
One of the men was reportedly arrested in a house a few days after the robbery with a large quantity of wet money and other valuables.
Another defendant, who was a former security guard at the Casino, allegedly provided the gunmen with vital information about the gambling spot’s operations.
During the ordeal, Police Lance Corporal Andrew Richardson and four hotel staffers sustained gunshot wounds.
Oct 16, 2018By Sean Devers in Trinidad In association with Regal, Vnet, Noble House Seafoods & Cascadia Hotel In murky conditions and played before virtually empty stands, Guyana Jaguars, led by a 79-run...
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]