Labourer, 18, remanded over knifepoint robbery

An 18-year-old labourer who allegedly robbed a woman at knifepoint near the fire station next to Stabroek Market was on Monday remanded to prison by Magistrate Sueanna Lovell after he appeared before her in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

Mark Johnson of Lot 287 West Ruimveldt Housing Scheme was accused of robbing Olinda Griffith of one handbag worth $3,000 and $8,000, while being armed with a knife in the Georgetown area.

The prosecutor in his address to the court stated that on the day in question the virtual complainant (VC) was standing in the vicinity of the fire station when the defendant walked up to her, while being armed with a knife, and relieved her of the handbag which contained the cash. The defendant was subsequently apprehended by public-spirited persons.

Defence attorney Gordon Gilhuys told the court that on October 6 his client was having a conversation with the security guard at the ice factory where he works when he was approached by a woman and two men and beaten and taken to the West Ruimveldt Police Station. Gilhuys said that his client’s job requires him to carry a knife to cut the bags of ice. The attorney also told the court that the defendant has a blood clot in his left eye as a result of the beating he received. After requesting the court to grant Johnson reasonable bail the attorney indicated that his client is a retarded person and has no knowledge of the incident. The lawyer said further that it is a case of mistaken identity and he noted also that the VC told the defendant’s mother that she did not wish to pursue the matter but the police were pushing it further.

The investigating rank told the court, however, that the VC was threatened by persons that she would be killed if she made an appearance and so she was a no-show in court.

The prosecution objected to bail on the grounds that Johnson will tamper with the VC and so bail was denied and the matter adjourned until October 17.

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