Two remanded on botched taxi robbery charges

Guyana Chronicle
April 19, 2000

POLICE have charged two men in connection with the botched armed robbery of a city businesswoman in which a taxi driver was shot and injured.

Trevor Gaspar and Ian Rodrigues (no addresses given) appeared before Magistrate Dawn Holdert-Alert yesterday, accused of attempting to rob Maimooon Ali, of Yuppie's Wholesale Store, at Lot 45 High Street, Georgetown.

Moans from spectators penetrated the courtroom atmosphere when the the men took off their shirts and revealed their bruised, marked bodies.

Defence Counsel, Mr Arthur Alexander, for Gaspar and Mr Nigel Hughes, representing Rodrigues, complained that the two were victims of Police brutality.

But the Police Prosecutor, Corporal Suzette Cornette refuted the allegation, saying the duo suffered at the hands of public-spirited citizens.

Gaspar and Rodrigues are also charged with trying to murder taxi driver Righbert Boatswain on the same April 14, when he and Ali were attacked in a car at Brickdam and Camp Streets, in the city, too.

Both Gaspar and Rodrigues were remanded to prison until April 19 and the cases were transferred to Chief Magistrate Paul Fung-A-Fat.

The matters were first called in the morning but Mrs Holder-Alert made her decision on the men's pre-trial liberty in the afternoon after Cornette opposed the grant.

Alexander and Hughes said their clients were in need of medical attention and should be released to secure treatment.

After Cornette said public-spirited citizens had beaten them, Hughes challenged the Police to produce any of the assailants who hit the men in Brickdam Police Station.

To facilitate this, Mrs Holder-Alert deferred further hearing to 13:00 hrs and, when the Police did not tender a medical certificate either, the magistrate said she was would not conduct the trial because she is a friend of Ali's husband.