While stating that he did not like to place young men on remand, Magistrate Douglas Frederick did just that today to four teenaged boys accused of raping a young woman.
Renaldo Javon Joseph, 17, of #71 Husbands New Development, St James; 16-year-old Shaquon Rico Tione Goddard of Arleigh Tenantry, Cave Hill, St Michael; Joshwa Kobey Anthony Williams, 16, of Reservoir Road, Lodge Hill, St Michael and 17-year-old Taj Damario Deshong of Cave Hill Main Road, St Michael stood in the dock of the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court today with glassy eyes as Frederick remanded them to HMP Dodds until May 5.
The quartet was not required to plead to the indictable charge of raping a female on April 2, 2016.
The incident allegedly happened at last weekend’s UWI Carnival.
Joseph, Goddard and Williams are also accused of stealing one cellular phone valued $250 and $15 from the complainant.
In objecting to bail, Station Sergeant Neville Watson said both Joseph and Goddard were already on bail from the court.
Watson argued that the matter before the court was a serious one. He said the complainant had been forced to seek
medical attention and was also undergoing therapy.
He pointed out that police were also looking for four other suspects in connection with the matter, and expressed fear that if released on bail the young men would interfere with investigations.
Appearing on behalf of Deshong, Angela Mitchell-Gittens however argued that while the offence was a serious one, it was not one so serious in which her client could not be granted bail.
She insisted that he could not “stop the Royal Barbados Police Force from apprehending the four other suspects”, if he was granted bail.
Williams’ attorney Richard Byer insisted that his client was not a flight risk and would be present for his court appearances if granted bail, while Kenny Best who appeared for Goddard asked the court to look at all the circumstances to see if he was indeed fit for bail.
However, after listening to all the arguments, Frederick said while he did not take any pleasure in remanding young people, the matter before the court was “very, very seriously”.
“Where four or even eight men are said to have committed this act, that means this is at the height of seriousness. This is a very, very serious allegation,” he maintained.
He also agreed that police needed time to continue their investigations without being affected.
The magistrate further pointed out that the four young men also needed to be protected from society.
“Given the nature and seriousness of the charge, I could well imagine that tempers in society could flare. The possibility of persons becoming hostile is a very realistic possibility and I believe that the protection of these individuals is very important.”
The four men were then handcuffed and led away by police to the waiting prison bus.