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Bain denies knowledge of cellular phone

Bain denies knowledge of cellular phone


The prisoner implicated in Prison Officer George Caesar’s case claims not to know anything about the cell phone which was allegedly to have been given to him by Caesar.{{more}}

Sheldon Bain testified to this effect when he gave evidence at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, October 20, 2009.

George Caesar was charged on Friday August 7 to conveying one Motorola VR50 cellular phone battery into Her Majesty’s Prison to facilitate the escape of convicted murderer Sheldon “Dutch” Bain. He pleaded not guilty. He also pleaded not guilty to conveying one Sony Ericsson cellular phone into Her Majesty’s Prison with intent to facilitate the escape of Bain.

Bain also said he did not know about the phone or battery. He added that he had several conversations with Caesar, but they were only about prison duties. He said he had no intention to escape from prison.

During cross examination by counsel Ronald Marks, Bain said that he knew that sometime ago, phones were confiscated from inmates at the prison. Bain said that he knew of one person who was arrested in his cell for having a cell phone; that prisoner, he said, claimed that the phone was his (Bain’s). Bain said he could not recall the content of a written statement with his signature on it and that he did not know the woman’s name, which was mentioned in court, who is alleged to have given the phone to Caesar.

As he was being cross examined by counsel, Investigating Officer Malcolm Alexander agreed that Caesar never gave Bain a cell phone and that Caesar, in his statement given to the police, never mentioned an escape plan.

During the reading of Caesar’s statement, the court heard that Bain spoke to him and told him to collect something from his girlfriend. He said he met a woman outside the Building and Loan building who gave him a black bag with a cell phone inside. He returned to the prison, left the phone at the gate, taking it home with him at the end of the day. The next day he went to work with the black bag and the cell phone. He received a call from another prison officer; he then took out the phone and placed it on his desk.

Also giving evidence that day, Superintendent of Prisons Eric Rodriguez said that he and Caesar had conversations about bringing cell phones into the prison and the fact that this was unauthorized. Rodriguez said Caesar admitted to bringing the phone and that he had received the phone from a woman. Rodriguez said Caesar told him the phone was intended for Bain. He added that Caesar said, Bain said, that he was planning an escape and that the cell phone would be used to set up an appointment for persons to help him escape.

During his no case submission, counsel Ronald Marks said that there was speculation about the conveying of a phone to Bain. “You must have conveyed in a legal sense and common law and that is to handover or cause that item to be handed over.” Marks said. He also said that the absence of this “essential ingredient” is the basis for his no case submission. Marks added that there was no concrete evidence suggesting an escape plan and that Caesar’s case was that of a delinquent worker, which should have been handled internally.

Marks no case submission was overruled by Senior Magistrate Donald Browne. The case was adjourned to November 2, 2009 when the defence will present their evidence.(OS)