Two cousins were remanded to prison after appearing in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court accused of assaulting a 14-year-old boy.
Rashed Jabar Gittens, 23, and Tre Wendell Skinner, 18, both of Belleview Gap, Station Hill, are charged with assaulting Shawneko Moore on February 6, occasioning him actual bodily harm.
Station Sergeant Neville Reid objected to bail for the accused men on the grounds that the alleged victim needed protection and
that efforts were being made to recover a shotgun, which was reportedly used during the incident.
The prosecutor requested that the investigators be given time to complete the probe, even as he revealed that Gittens was already on bail from the High Court for a capital offence.
However, while acknowledging that her client had been on bail for the past two years for murder, Gittens’ attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens said in her application for bail that her client had been “strictly complying” with all the conditions imposed.
In fact, she said it was as a result of his reporting to a police station that he was apprehended.
Mitchell-Gittens also argued that the Crown’s request for time to allow investigators to recover a firearm was not enough to deny her client bail, while pointing out that in all her years of practice she had “never heard of a case where they were looking for a firearm allegedly used and it was found”.
The defence attorney also told Magistrate Douglas Frederick that it was “unfortunate” that her client had found himself facing such allegations, but said the fact remained that he had no convictions and that his murder charge was still languishing in the magistrates’ court.
She therefore insisted that bail should be considered for her client in the circumstances, while referring to a medical report on the incident which suggested that the weapons used were rocks and a plastic bucket.
Gittens also made a spirited appeal on his own behalf.
“I begging Sir. I try to stop the whole scene. Since I get bail on this murder charge, I have just been trying to get my life back on track,” the accused man said to the point of tears.
Meantime Skinner’s legal counsel Romain Marshall expressed surprise and shock over the prosecution’s objections to bail.
“I am surprised because yesterday when I went to the station there was no mention of a shotgun or firearm or any weapon in this matter,” a baffled Marshall stated.
He pointed out that his client had been offered station bail, but said it was not secured, as officers were unable to have him fingerprinted at the time. Marshall therefore contended that Skinner was a fit candidate for bail as he had no pending charges before the court, was not on bail and had no previous convictions.
However, Frederick ruled in favour of the prosecution, saying the public interest at this time far outweighed personal interest as he remanded the cousins to prison until March 8.