Guyana: No bail for $8.9M robbery

Guyana Chronicle:-THREE men who are alleged to have stormed into the Ramada Princess Casino, injuring several persons in the process, were remanded to prison Friday by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.

Wayne Griffith, 29, of Bagotville, West Bank Demerara; Junior Stewart, 30 of Lot 144 Thomas Street, Kitty and 35-year-old Andre Blackman of 50 Middle Street, McDoom, East Bank Demerara, have been jointly charged with armed robbery.

The men were not required to plead to the charge which alleged that while they were armed with guns on April 29 at Providence, East Bank Demerara, they robbed Daniel Reynolds and Alfean Goddard of $8.91M, property of the Ramada Princess Casino.

Griffith and Blackman were represented by attorney George Thomas, who argued for them to be released on bail on the basis that the police had kept them in custody for over the 72-hour period.

Thomas further explained that Blackman worked at the Casino as a Security Guard, while Griffith is a vendor and a father of four.

“My client [Griffith] was beaten by the hands of police officers and is urinating blood,” the lawyer informed the magistrate.

Meanwhile, Stewart’s lawyer, Mark Conway, also alleged that the police physically abused his client. Conway told the court that Stewart is the sole breadwinner for his family and is employed as a “car tinter.”

Prosecutor, Corporal Deniro Jones, objected to bail pointing out that firearms were used during the course of the robbery and that the charges are serious.

He revealed that more charges, such as attempt to commit murder along with possession of guns and ammunition, will be laid against the three accused shortly.

“Griffith and Stewart have similar matters before the court and had committed the casino robbery while on bail,” the Prosecutor said.

He further revealed that the three men had given caution statements to the police confessing to the crime. As such, bail was refused and they were remanded to prison until May 20.

According to reports, about 03:20 hrs on April 29, gunmen invaded the casino and engaged in a shoot-out that wounded a police officer and four others.

The alleged gunman, Wayne Griffith, who was captured at the scene, reportedly provided police with information, which led to Blackman’s arrest. Additionally, Stewart was reportedly found with some of the stolen money at a house in Vreed – en – Hoop, West Coast Demerara.