Witness remanded over armed robbery despite attempts to stop charge

A single mother of three, fingered by her friend for an alleged gunpoint robbery, was yesterday remanded to prison along with two others despite indications from the prosecutor that she had been wrongfully charged with the crime.

Alana Taylor, 35, of 212 East Ruimveldt Housing Scheme, was accused of robbing her friend Elizabeth Hendricks of $341,000 worth of valuables including a cellphone, a gold ring and a laptop. Peter McKenzie, 23, of 298 Meadowbrook Squatting Area and Aniki Rogers, 19, of 191 Meadowbrook Gardens were also charged with the crime, which allegedly occurred on Lime Street, Georgetown on March 2. None of the defendants were required to plead when the charges were read to them by Magistrate Judy Latchman.

Peter McKenzie (left) and Aniki Rogers (right) being escorted to the prisoners’ holding cell yesterday
Peter McKenzie (left) and Aniki Rogers (right) being escorted to the prisoners’ holding cell yesterday

In an application for reasonable bail, the woman’s attorney Mark Waldron explained that the investigating ranks were aware that Taylor had no connections to her co-defendants. He added that his client had gone to visit Hendricks, a friend of hers for years, when the robbery occurred. However, the prosecution insisted on charging her, he said.

In the men’s corner, attorney Paul Fung-a-Fat also requested reasonable bail for his clients. In his application, Fung-a-Fat revealed that McKenzie, a Digicel employee, had previously worked with the virtual complainant on her dredge for two months sometime last year. He further emphasised that there was no evidence to implicate McKenzie and Rogers in the robbery.

However, Prosecutor Vishnu Hunt objected to bail for both men on the grounds of the seriousness and prevalence of the offence. He also mentioned that a gun had been used in the commission of the crime.

In Taylor’s case, he raised no objections but stated that he had received instructions which vindicated her instead. Accord-ing to Hunt, there had been attempts by the investigating ranks to have the matter against Taylor removed. However, the matter had already been filed and could not be retracted in time, he said. He added that the prosecution would actually want to use Taylor as a witness against McKenzie and Rogers.

Bail was nevertheless refused for all three of the defendants and a date for report was set by Magistrate Latchman. As the decision was handed down, a clearly distressed Taylor began to openly weep in the courtroom. The threesome will make their next appearance tomorrow at the George-town Magistrates’ Courts.

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