Magistrate orders Atwell hospitalised
October 12, 1999
Taxi driver Clyde Atwell who was charged in the recent America Street cambio robbery, along with three others, had to be lifted into court by policemen yesterday when the matter continued before Chief Magistrate, Paul Fung-a-fat.
Atwell, who exited the prison vehicle almost bent double, had to be supported by one of his police escorts. After a few tottering steps, he was lifted by one of the court policemen and taken into the docks, while his co-accused Toyin Anderson limped upstairs. The two were surrounded by heavily armed members of Target Special Force, known as the 'Black Clothes' police.
Basil Williams, representing Atwell, submitted to the court that his client had been badly beaten by the police and as a result could hardly walk or stand. He pleaded with the chief magistrate to order that his client be admitted to the hospital as the possibility existed that his fate might be similar to that of another prisoner, who recently died in the police lock-ups.
Fung-A-Fat granted the order on the condition that the accused be chained to the bed. He also ordered the matter to be called again today to see whether his instructions were being complied with.
When the chief magistrate had first called the matter earlier in the day, the two prisoners were not in court. The prosecution explained that there was a transportation problem. This prompted Williams to demand that his client be brought to court immediately as a habeas corpus writ filed in the High Court some time before had indicated that Atwell should have been present in court for yesterday's proceedings.
Atwell of Eccles, East Bank Demerara, Toyin Anderson of Samaroo Dam, Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara, Linden London called 'Blackie' and Andrew Peter Douglas are on five joint charges of attempted murder and two of robbery. Atwell and Anderson had appeared before Fung-A-Fat on September 28, and he had refused them bail because of the severity of the crimes. He had also issued arrest warrants for London and Douglas. The four men are indictably charged with attempting to murder, Detective Corporal Ewart Hutson called 'Toots', Brian Nelson called 'Tussie', Mubarack Khan, Jermaine Brower and Vishnu Narine, on September 22. They are also accused of robbing D. Singh and Sons Cambio of $3 million, 36,490 pounds Sterling, Cdn$4,040, TT$10,107, EC$1,155, Bds$1,810; and Ramzan Bacchus of $1.4 million on the same day .
The four accused, along with Terry Madhoo called 'Rusty', who was killed in shoot-out with the police, are alleged to have committed the robberies using a hail of gunfire to cover their escape. The men were reportedly clad in bullet-proof vests and toted sophisticated weapons. The matter continues today. (Leonard Gildarie)
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