Four Colombians who came into Barbados last month have admitted to going into a number of homes with the intention of stealing, with two of them also pleading guilty to having a stolen VISA card and driver’s permit they intended to use for illegal purposes.
Attorney-at-law Andrew Pilgrim today fought for them to hear what their fate would be “and have it over and done with”, but when they appeared before Magistrate Deborah Holder, she put off sentencing for Magistrate Douglas Frederick tomorrow.
Hames Asdrubal Mendoza Arevalo, a 35-year-old taxi driver; businessman Santiago Prad Vieda, 34; and 26-year-old students Bairon Valencio Lopez and David Mauricio Botero-Montes have been remanded until then.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Peter Barrow had objected to bail for the accused on the grounds of “the seriousness of the offences” and that they were non-nationals and might abscond.
But Pilgrim, who was holding papers for the Colombians’ substantive lawyer Allan Carter, said the four had been in custody since last Wednesday and had cooperated with police and “probably wouldn’t know how to abscond even if they wanted to”.
Magistrate Holder insisted, however, that she could not grant them bail in the circumstances.
On February 5, Arevalo was found with a Mexican driver’s licence bearing the name Marco Antonio Olvera Cruz; Lopez had a driver’s permit in the name Guillermo Baez Matos, and Botero-Montes also had a VISA card bearing the name Manuel Sosmendy Veron – all of them intending to use the documents which they brought into the island for fraud.
Botero-Montes also admitted that he loitered on the Fort George Heights premises of Kathleen Gardner on February 4 and there was cause to suspect he was about to commit burglary.
Speaking through an interpreter, those three Colombians who were staying at Kirtons Main Road, St Philip since arriving here days apart in January, admitted to committing those offences. Botero-Montes and Vieda also face a joint charge of entering the dwelling house of Dora Parris between January 22 and 25 with intent to commit theft. They were not allowed to enter a plea since that incident occurred in the jurisdiction of the District “D” Magistrates Court.
However, Pilgrim gave early notice that the duo would enter guilty pleas when they make their appearance in that St Thomas court.
He did have a disagreement with the magistrate on the issue, however, insisting that Botero-Montes and Vieda should be given an even earlier opportunity – tomorrow – to be heard on that joint charge.
“It’s costing Barbados to keep them,” Pilgrim said as he argued for an earlier court appearance. “These men want to plead guilty.”
Magistrate Holder maintained the adjournment of the matter until Thursday. [email protected]