COME April 14, Senior Magistrate Leron Daly is expected to rule on a no-case submission in the case against four men, who are on trial for the 2017 failed armed robbery on Republic Bank’s Water Street, Georgetown branch.
Ex-Police Constable, Anfernee Blackman, of Laing Avenue, West Ruimveldt, Georgetown; former Republic Bank employee, Shawn Grimmond of Pike Street, Kitty; Ex-Rural Constable Gladstone George, of Princes Street, Lodge, Georgetown; and Keron Saunders, of Burnham Boulevard, Mocha, East Bank Demerara (EBD), are on trial at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court for the offence. They are currently on $500,000 bail each.
Recently, after the prosecution closed its case, the defendants’ lawyers – Nigel Hughes and Associates along with Dexter Todd – made a no-case submission on the grounds that the State failed to make out a case against the men. Both parties have already submitted their arguments to the court and so the Magistrate has set April 14 for ruling.
Another former Republic Bank employee, Jamal Haynes, of Norton Street, Wortmanville, Georgetown, who was also implicated with the four men, had pleaded guilty to the charge and was jailed for six years.
Both Grimmond and Haynes were employees of Republic Bank at the time of the attempted robbery while George and Blackman were constables attached to the Guyana Police Force (GPF). The latter two reportedly aided in the robbery attempt by providing the firearms that were used. In his bid to escape, Haynes was shot to his leg.
It was reported that, on the morning of July 4, 2017, three armed men entered the bank before it was opened to the public. Haynes and his alleged gang members, including deceased Elton Wray, had reportedly planned on getting their hands on the night’s deposits, since it was a three-day weekend and companies would have deposited millions of dollars in cash.
Wray, a 25-year-old China-trained agronomist, who was at the time employed at the National Agriculture Research Extension Institute (NAREI), was shot in the chest during the robbery. He succumbed to his injuries the same day, while receiving medical attention.