FORMER policeman Colin Bailey was, on Wednesday, freed, after the prosecution disclosed that it did not have any evidence linking him to the 2013 murder of his reputed wife, Sirmattie Ramnaress.
Bailey was on trial before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow and a 12-member jury at the Demerara High Court.
As the three final witnesses were about to be called by state prosecutor Sarah Martin, the judge asked her if their testimonies would tie Bailey to the crime.
In response, she conceded that there was no evidence linking him to the crime. Bailey’s attorney, Nigel Hughes, then made a submission for the charge to be dismissed.
The judge agreed with the attorney, and stated that no charge should be instituted against someone when there is no evidence to properly prosecute him/her. The judge expressed her dissatisfaction with the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions for wasting judicial time.
Justice Barlow directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict and Bailey was freed.
On Tuesday, his co-accused, Colin Grant, pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter and was remanded to prison until November 2, when he is expected to be sentenced. Grant was said to be the “hitman.”
The Guyana Chronicle had reported that Ramnaress was found dead on the morning of August 31, 2013, with a stab wound and injuries to her head and body, in the garage of her Diamond, East Bank Demerara home.
While petrol had been thrown all over her house, it was the bond at the back of the yard that was set alight and destroyed. The woman’s body was discovered after the fire service was called to the fire scene. Her attacker also removed the footage from the surveillance cameras that were located around the house.
The police suspected that Bailey, who shared a 21-year relationship with the victim, was involved in her death. However, he had told police investigators that at the time of his wife’s demise, he was on active duty and therefore had a solid alibi.
In 2015, the case was reopened after police arrested Grant. Grant alleged that he was paid by Bailey to kill Ramnaress and remove the footage from the surveillance cameras.
The police later charged both Grant and Bailey for the businesswoman’s murder.