Guyana native Kevin Anthony Layne, who is facing a burglary charge, lost his freedom for at least two weeks after he appeared in a Bridgetown court today where it was discovered that he has been in Barbados illegally for almost three years.
The 27-year-old man, who lives at School Road, Hindsbury Road, St Michael, is accused of entering the home of Marcent Skeete as a trespasser between February 10 and 11 and stealing a $1,600 television and $180 DVD player.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before Magistrate Douglas Frederick with his attorney Ezra Alleyne.
Sergeant Rudy Pilgrim objected to his bail on the ground that he may abscond given his status and he had no significant ties here.
An Immigration officer who was in court also told the magistrate that Layne had arrived in the island on October 2, 2015 and was given a six-month stay as a visitor but had failed to regularise his status since then. However, Alleyne argued that his client’s status “should not be conclusive” to his right to bail at this time.
“There is no indication that he has been nothing more than an industrious, hardworking individual during this time,” Alleyne said, adding that the charges are alleged to have taken place in February and were only now before the court.
“He is working here . . . for two years . . . and his employers are interested in re-engaging his services. This charge arise out of an argument between two friends living together . . . And there is some difficulty in unearthing the alleged informant. The items are also back in the possession of the owner,” Alleyne submitted.
However, he was unable to prove the accused’s employment status when asked to do so by the magistrate.
“How can we guarantee that he will come back for court when asked to do so when he did not return to immigration to regularise his status?” Frederick questioned.
Alleyne replied that the situations were different and the court could impose further orders to secure his client’s attendance.
“You are between a rock and a hard place . . . Because if he is illegal, how do you prove that he is working when he is not paying any insurance or anything like that,” Frederick stated, as he adjourned the matter until October 1 in other to get evidence from the complainant.