FOUR years after the failed armed robbery on Republic Bank’s Water Street branch, three men were, on Tuesday, freed of the crime after Senior Magistrate Leron Daly upheld a no-case submission made by their attorneys.
Ex-Police Constable, Anfernee Blackman, of Laing Avenue, West Ruimveldt, Georgetown; former Republic Bank employee, Shawn Grimmond of Pike Street, Kitty and ex-Rural Constable, Gladstone George, of Princes Street, Lodge, Georgetown walked out of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court as free men.
Magistrate Daly ruled in favour of a no-case submission made by the trio’s lawyers, Leslie Sobers, Dexter Todd and Roger Yearwood. The lawyers had submitted that the state failed to make out a case against their clients.
The magistrate overruled the submission made by the fourth accused, Keron Saunders, of Burnham Boulevard, Mocha, East Bank Demerara (EBD) and called upon him to lead his defence come July 14.
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 lawmen 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 the now deceased, Elton Wray, had reportedly planned on getting their hands on the night 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 and killed during the incident.