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Four charged in Bequia heist

Four charged in Bequia heist


A week after general manager of Western Union in Bequia Joan Davis was held up at gunpoint at her office in broad daylight and relieved of $12,300, police have arrested and charged four persons in connection with the heist.{{more}}

Orland Spencer 25, labourer of Bequia/Trinidad, Sabrina Phillips, 18, of Grenada, Aaron Francois, 18, labourer of Greggs and 26 year old John Raymond of Grenada were arrested and jointly charged with theft of EC$12,300 in cash, US$839 in cash and cheques amounting to EC$660, the property of Western Union Money Transfer.

The quartet appeared at the Serious Offences Court on Monday before Chief Magistrate Sonya Young and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

They were all remanded in custody until February 27 when a Preliminary Inquiry will be held.

It was stated that the weapons used in the alleged robbery and the money have not yet been recovered. Police also alleged that after the incident took place both Francois and Raymond were trying to flee Bequia via speed boat but were subsequently apprehended by the police.

The prosecution, led by Station Sergeant Nigel Butcher, stated that the defendants were serious flight risks and that they have strong connections in Grenada, hence his strong application for bail denial.

In another allegation of police brutality, the lone female and soon to be mother, Phillips, said that she was hit in her head repeatedly, even in her stomach and had to be rushed to the hospital to seek medical treatment.

The other three accused also said they had been beaten to make them give statements. Accused Raymond even took his shirt off to exhibit what he claimed were marks. They were barely visible.

Defence lawyer for the four accused, Ronald Marks, said that the marks of violence were already healed as his clients were held unlawfully since the Tuesday prior to their appearance in court on Monday this week.

Marks said that the police had already made up their minds that the four accused were guilty and while they were conducting investigations into the matter they used violence to extract statements.

“They need medical attention, and denying them bail means that they would not have adequate treatment,” said Marks.

Disputing police claims, Marks told the court that there was never any struggle in apprehending the accused as was claimed by the prosecution and that his clients were taken into custody and went onto the Ferry voluntarily.

Station Sergeant Butcher responded saying whatever statements were derived were given voluntarily and that the defence claims are false.

Magistrate Young ordered that Phillips, four months pregnant, be sent immediately to the hospital for an Ultrasound. The three other defendants were also sent for medical attention.

Spencer was brought back to court the following day on two charges of threatening and insulting language to Prosecutor Station Sergeant Nigel Butcher. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.