Accused granted bail

By Daniel DaCosta
Stabroek News
April 20, 2000

The two men, charged in last Friday's botched robbery on the manageress of Yuppies Depot during which a taxi driver was shot, were yesterday afternoon granted bail in the sum of $200,000 each. Trevor Gaspar, 24, of 37 Ketley Street, Charlestown and Ian Rodrigues, 25, of 71 Middle Road, La Penitence were placed on bail after successful arguments by their lawyers Arthur Alexander and Nigel Hughes, before Principal Magistrate Juliet Holder-Allen.

The two, who are facing charges of attempted murder and attempted armed robbery, appeared on Tuesday before Magistrate Dawn Holder-Alert who had refused them bail and transferred the matter to Chief Magistrate, Paul Fung-A-Fat. Holder-Alert recused herself from the matter, stating that she was familiar with Fizal Ali, the proprietor of Yuppies Depot. However, Fung-A-Fat was not present yesterday when the men were taken to court and they appeared before Holder-Allen.

Hughes, for Rodrigues, argued that his client had still not seen a doctor although a court order had been made. He again stressed that his client, a taxi driver, could not have been beaten by public- spirited citizens as the police claimed, since he was not caught at the scene of the alleged incident. Instead he was picked up later.

He also said that on Tuesday, he was under the impression bail would have been granted when Holder-Alert adjourned the matter to the afternoon to facilitate a defence request that the police produce medical reports of the injuries of the men and witnesses to testify that the men were beaten by public-spirited citizens.

However, on her return the magistrate had indicated that she was familiar with the businessman and transferred the matter after refusing bail for the accused. He said that based on this, he was again making an application for bail. He also cited a recent case at West Coast Demerara where two persons charged with attempted murder were granted $10,000 bail each.

Alexander, in his bail application for Gaspar, said that he could not understand why the court was refusing bail for his client. Holder-Alert had not indicated on what grounds she had refused bail, he said. Neither had she indicated whether she had accepted the police's excuse for not turning up with the witnesses to the beating.

Police Prosecutor, Corporal Lex Barker, who told the court that he was not in possession of the file as he was not aware that the case was being heard, strongly objected to bail on the grounds that a person had been shot during an attempted robbery. He said that one of the men was caught at the scene of the alleged crime and also cited the seriousness and prevalence of the offences and noted that the incident had occurred in front of the Brickdam Police Station.

However, Holder-Allen, after considering the arguments, granted the accused bail.

The matter is set to continue on May 5, in front of the chief magistrate.

The accused are charged jointly with Eloi DeBritto called 'Buckman' of 17 James and Hogg Street, Albouystown, with the attempted murder, on Friday, of taxi driver Righbert Boatswain and attempting to rob Maimoon Ali, manageress of Yuppies Depot.

According to the police, Ali was on her way to Citizens Bank, Camp Street on Friday afternoon, when Gaspar and DeBritto, came out of a car allegedly driven by Rodrigues, entered Boatswain's car and ordered him to "shut-up and drive." He drove the car to the Brickdam Police Station and was allegedly shot twice by DeBritto, who is still at large and for whom an arrest warrant has been issued. (Leonard Gildarie)