How four accused robbed & killed taxi driver
THE mixed jury in the Ogle murder trial yesterday heard that the four accused had robbed and killed taxi driver Teddy Smith on the night of October 24, 2004.
This allegation was contained in two alleged confession or caution statements said to be given to the police by accused Christopher Dhanrad called Paul Jagnandan and Vijay Rajkumar called ‘Eon’.
The jury were told that the men from Cummings Lodge Squatting Area had left their home on the East Coast on the day in question for the Demico car park where they retained the taxi, driven by Teddy Smith, for duties on the East Coast of Demerara.
The men indicted for murder and now facing trial for the unlawful killing of Teddy Smith are Christopher Dhanrad called ‘Paul Jagnandan’, Azim Khan, Vijay Rajkumar called ‘Eon’, and Kumar Seeraj nicknamed ‘Boysie’.
On the resumption yesterday, the trial which started at the beginning of the January Criminal Sessions and is still continuing , presiding Judge Brassington Reynolds recorded ojections from defence counsel against the tendering of the unedited Jagnandan caution statement.
The judge, who in keeping with submissions from Prosecutor Ganesh Hira to the effect that a warning to the jury was sufficient when one accused implicates a co-accused, said he would abide with the decision of the 1975 Guyana Court of Appeal decision.
The defence was asking for a more advanced decision which did not find favour with the judge.
The two caution statements which Police Inspector Ray Guiness testified were given to him by the accused Jagnandan and Vijay Rajkumar, in the presence of witnesses, including the mothers of the accused, were, with the approval of the Court, read to the jury.
In his caution statement, accused Paul Jagnandan is recorded as telling the police – “On Sunday night 24th October, 2004, about 8:30 p.m., Kumar Seeraj came by me and park his bicycle and me and Kumar, called Boysie, went to Georgetown by Demico car park.
“We went to an East Indian car man who had a red Cortina and we tell him we going up to Under Ground on the East Coast. When we coming up we pick up Imran at U. G. Road on the Line Top and when we reach by B/V Bridge, Imran holler base line and I pulled out a small knife, Imran pulled out a cutlass and Boysie pulled out a chopper and Eon pulled out an ice picker. Then the man ran out of the car. I ran out and hold on pon he. He choked me and started cuffing me and I bore he at he side . Then Imran took the picker from Eon and jook the taxi man in his chest and his belly. Then Eon took the cutlass and chop the taxi man on the foot.
“We left the man and Boysie went into the driver’s seat. We reverse and drive along the line top and park the car in First Street, Cummings Lodge and we go home”.
Following the reading of Jagnandan’s caution statement, Inspector Guiness also read the caution statement of accused Vijay Rajkumar to the mixed jury.
Accused Vijay Rajkumar is recorded as saying – “Last Sunday around 6 o’clock in the afternoon I bin going work place at Big G/ for drop a message. When me went coming back me see Paul, Azim, Devonand and Boysie and them tell me that they got a move for go pon, they say if me don go, they gon set me up, so I decide to go. Paul, Boysie and Devonand catch a car at UG road and went to Georgetown. About 2:30 that night, them come up and me go at U.G. car stop where they collect me with a red car. A coolie man bin driving the car and go by the line top. When by B/V, Paul came in the front seat and he took out a knife from his waist and put it to the man’s neck and tell the man to drive straight, then the man turned through the street and start hallowing thief and the man ran out of the car. Paul had a knife, Boysie had a chopper and Azim had an ice pick and they ran out of the car and ran after the taxi man. I see Paul jook up the man. I did not see what the other two did. I remained in the car with Devon and a bus then came up on the Line top and a man came out and boxed Paul and Paul ran back to the car. Azim reversed the car and headed along the line road. They then drop me off at UG Line Top Road and I walk and go home”.
The accused ,all 17 years old, are represented by Mr. Hukumchand, Miss Kamini Parag, Mr. Euclin Gomes and Mr. Adrian Thompson.
The State Prosecutor, Mr. Hira, is associated with Miss Latchmie Rahamat and Miss Rhondel Weever.
The hearing continues today.