The “gravity and very serious nature” of a number of charges levelled against a St Michael teen have landed him on remand at Dodds for the next 28 days.
Ericko Malique Williams, 17, from Bibbys Lane, will now make his second appearance before Chief Magistrate Ian Weekes on February 7.
Williams is charged with entering Road View Variety as a trespasser on December 24, 2021 and stealing $1, 000 in cash belonging to Bhina Harris. It is alleged he had a firearm at the time.
He is also charged with burglarizing Low Waves Hair Salon on December 31 last year and stealing $150 cash belonging to Lolita Edghill, and at the time had a firearm. The teen is further alleged to have on that same date assaulted Sergeant Raymond Morris to prevent the lawful apprehension of himself.
Williams was not required to plead to the indictable charges which led to Sergeant Victoria Taitt objecting when it came time for the magistrate to consider bail.
The prosecuting sergeant based her objections on the strength of the evidence, the serious nature of the offences and the fact that they involved three different complainants, as well as the allegations that a firearm was used in the comital of two of the offences.
She continued: “The complainants need to be protected from the accused and, by extension, society.”
In his bail application, Williams’ attorney Martie Garnes admitted that while the charges were indeed serious they were offences for which bail could be granted in the Magistrates’ Court.
“But they remain allegations at this stage,” Garnes said about the charges against his client who he said is a “boy not even 18 yet”.
He argued that his client was not charged under the Firearms Act and the “strength” of the evidence argument used by the prosecutor should not be considered as there was no evidence before the court at this time.
Regarding Sergeant Taitt’s contention that remanding Williams would offer protection to the complainant, the defence attorney said: “I do not know where that would come from but to describe it as a last-ditch effort by the prosecution to keep this young man where he should not be.”
Garnes added that the primary consideration for bail was whether the accused would show up on appointed court dates.
He added that his client had no prior or pending matters before the court and was willing to abide by any bail conditions imposed.
“This young man has a good defence to these charges and maintains his innocence,” the teen’s lawyer submitted.
Chief Magistrate Weekes in considering the applications stated that the teen had his name called in three matters on two different dates.
“I agree he does not have a charge under the Firearms Act but . . . in relation to the preventing the lawful apprehension of himself in relation to the police . . . it is always an interesting kind of charge,” Weekes said adding that the accused will be kept in custody, “given the gravity of these types of matters and the very serious nature of the offences”.