Father of prison escapee appears in court on harbouring charges
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Ralph Jones
Ralph Jones

THE father of one of the four high-profile prisoners who escaped recently from the Mazaruni Prison, was on Monday remanded to prison for allegedly harbouring the fugitives at his Bartica home.

Ralph Jones, a boat captain of Fourth Avenue, Bartica, appeared before Magistrate Crystal Lambert at the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrate’s Court and was not required to plead to four counts of comforting, harbouring and maintaining the fugitives.

Particulars of the charge alleged that on February 16 the defendant, knowing that Rayon Jones, Imran Ramsaywack, Kenrick Lyte and Samuel Gouveia are convicted prisoners at the Mazaruni Prison, received, comforted, harboured and maintained them.

In an application for bail, Attorney-at-law Adrian Thompson told the court that the escapees showed up at his client’s home and demanded food, money and clothes. According to Thompson, the defendant was fearful for his life and complied with the men’s demands.

Magistrate Lambert refused the bail application and remanded Jones to prison until March 5.
Jones was arrested by police on February 17. He reportedly said that his son contacted him around 21:00hrs that day after escaping from prison and informed him of his actions.

Imran Ramsaywack, Kenrick Lyte, Samuel Gouveia and Ryan Jones

“Ralph Jones further admitted that sometime after 01:00hrs the following day, all four of the escapees showed up at his house where he provided each of them with a change of clothing. He in turn collected the clothes that they were wearing and dumped them in an alleyway aback his house in Fourth Avenue, Bartica,” the police had said in a press release.

Police ranks during a search at the location found a white ‘salt’ bag that contained clothing, footwear, deodorant, topes, pillows and pillow-cases, along with a bottle of Red Star rub, a toothbrush and a food bowl.

The Guyana Chronicle had reported that the police have since issued wanted bulletins for the men, who will be charged with escaping from lawful custody when recaptured.

According to Director of Prisons (ag) Nicklon Elliot, around 07:15hrs on February 16, during the unlocking of the Brick Prison (Solitary Division) which was supervised by the duty officer and four other ranks, it was observed that the padlock to the entrance gate was tampered with.

Further checks revealed that two bars from separate cells were cut. The matter was immediately reported to the Officer-in-Charge of the prison, Senior Superintendent of Prisons (ag) Kofi David, who immediately ordered a head count.

Upon conclusion, the director said the four men, who were housed in the Brick Prison (solitary) were unaccounted for.

Meanwhile, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) is appealing to members of the public, as well as to relatives and friends of the wanted men to give any relevant information as to their whereabouts, so that they can be captured and returned to the prison.

Members of the Joint Services are continuing the search for the escapees and are encouraging all law-abiding citizens to inform the nearest police station or call 455-2238, 455-2222, 455-2241, 226-4585, 225-2700, 225-3650 or 911 should they be seen. All information will be treated with strict confidentiality.

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