Judge insists court's order must be carried out

Guyana Chronicle
October 26, 2000

JUSTICE of Appeal Carl Singh yesterday refused to hear an application from the Regent Street, Georgetown vendors because they had flouted the court's order and were vending in the area in defiance of the court.

But he adjourned the matter to Monday when he will hear the matter if normalcy is restored.

Reacting to complaints from the vendors that itinerant sellers were harassed by members of the City Constabulary, the judge summoned the Chief Constable to court and directed that such vendors should not be interfered with.

When the application for a stay of execution came up for hearing yesterday, new counsel Mr Vidyanand Persaud for the municipality, informed the court that there was open defiance of the court's order by the vendors who are still selling in the area and were in confrontation with City Constables trying to clear the place.

When asked by the court for a response, attorney-at-law, Mr Nigel Hughes for the sellers explained that persons other than vendors were causing the disruption in Regent Street.

At this stage, Justice Singh, who is hearing the application for a stay, drew Hughes' attention to a photograph in the Chronicle newspaper which showed that wooden pallets were placed over drains by vendors who were carrying out their vending operations.

The judge then pointed out to Hughes that what had happened was against the grain of the court's ruling.

The judge said he was satisfied that the order of court was not being complied with and that he would decide to hear the application for a stay only if there was an acceptance of the order and a state of normalcy had returned to Regent Street.

The judge advised the Chief Constable that vendors are at liberty to walk and sell their goods providing they cause no breach of the city by-laws.

The vendors stalls were dismantled earlier this month after a court injunction which gave them temporary right to vend in Regent Street, against the wishes of the City Council, was discharged.

In order to accommodate the appeal which was filed, the vendors representatives Mansa Amin and Villarie Hinds and Jaiawattie Harnarain had applied to the High Court for a stay of execution of the order handed down by Justice Carl Singh. (GEORGE BARCLAY)

Vendors charged in street violence in court FOURTEEN persons appeared in court yesterday charged with several offences stemming from Tuesday's bloody clashes between City Constables and vendors on and near Regent Street.

Sources said the person suspected of stabbing City Constable Solomon Taylor during the street violence faces a charge of attempted murder.

A crowd of about 50 flocked the Georgetown Magistrates Court for the appearance of the group charged as a result of the violence.

Barricades were put up to keep back the crowd.

Protesters created an uproar several times before the cases were called.

Police arrested a woman who clung to a bench to resist being taken away.

Before Principal Magistrate Juliet Holder-Allen, 13 vendors pleaded not guilty to several charges and one admitted to obstructing a peace officer.

Simon Giddion was ordered to pay a fine of $4,000 when the prosecutor from the Mayor and City Council, Edmond Moore related the facts of the case to the magistrate.

He said the defendant was selling flowers on the pavement on Regent Street between King and Wellington Streets and was obstructing a Corporal's way.

He was arrested and charged.

Of the remaining vendors who appeared, five were remanded to prison until October 27.

Collin Wharton was denied bail by the magistrate because of the seriousness of the charge of having a cutlass.

He was also charged with disorderly behaviour and resisting a peace officer and is represented by lawyer Nigel Hughes.

Another remanded prisoner accused of having a cutlass was Earl McAdams, of 3730 Ruimveldt, a father of two, who was charged with obstructing a peace officer.

Hughes, representing him also, challenged the prosecution about the presentation of the weapon in court.

When asked by the magistrate about the discovery of the cutlass on Tuesday, Moore told the court it was found on the defendant after a member of the City Constabulary arrested him for the other offence.

Hughes denied that his client had a cutlass that day and wondered why the constable did not notice the large weapon before he arrested him. He also asked how the constable approached a man armed with a dangerous weapon.

Another remanded is Lawrence Sealy with two charges against him: having a pair of scissors and throwing missiles.

A third charge of resisting a peace officer was struck off the list by the magistrate.

June Ann Johnson, of Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara, the only woman remanded was accused of damaging a window screen valued $85,000, property of the Mayor and City Council.

The magistrate placed two of the vendors on $10,000 bail and Trisha Edwards is to return to court on November 3 to answer to the charges of obstructing a peace officer and throwing missiles.

Joseph Taylor, also on $10,000 bail, was accused of the same charges as Edwards and of assaulting a peace officer. He is to return to court on November 13.

Three of the vendors were placed on $7,000 bail: Phillip Harding, of North Sophia Squatting Area charged with obstructing a peace officer and assaulting a peace officer; Mark Thomas on similar charges as Harding and threatening behaviour and Matthew Ciere charged with obstructing a peace officer and throwing missiles.

They are to return to court on November 13.

Lance Soloman, of 114 Vryheid's Lust, East Coast Demerara, who allegedly had an ice pick and was charged with obstructing a peace officer and throwing missiles at a peace officer, was placed on $20,000 bail.

Clay Tom accused of disorderly behaviour, obstructing and assaulting a peace officer, was placed on $15,000 bail.

The remaining vendors were all placed on $5,000 bail each and are return to court on November 13 also.

The charge of unlawful wounding against Archie Poole (the only non-vendor) and Orin McKenzie was struck off the list.

Poole will have to return to court to face charges of obstructing a peace officer and throwing missiles.

McKenzie will also face similar charges.

They too are to return to court on November 13.

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