Dredge operator remanded over North West robbery

A dredge operator was yesterday remanded to prison after being accused of a choke-and-rob attack at the Five Star Backdam.
The allegation against Gangor Paddy is that on October 7, 2012 at Five Star Backdam, North West District, he robbed Sidney Simon of a two-ounce gold chain and a cell phone, valuing $470,000 in total.

Paddy, 38, pleaded not guilty to a robbery charge when it was read to him by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry before whom he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor Burgette Grant said that Paddy and Simon are known to each other as they conduct mining activities in the same area.

According to her, on the night of the incident, Simon was walking towards his mining camp when he was accosted by Paddy, who choked him from behind, before snatching the chain he was wearing and relieving him of his cell phone before he made good his escape.

During the robbery, the prosecutor said, the two men fell to the ground after Simon attempted to resist his attacker.
She added that Simon was carrying a flashlight, which he was able to retrieve from his pocket after they fell and he used it to positively identify the accused.

Grant said that it was on January 6 that Simon saw Paddy again and he contacted the police, who subsequently arrested him.
Attorney Paul Fung-a-Fat, who represented Paddy, challenged the prosecutions’ case, arguing that he found it implausible that Simon could have used his flashlight after falling to the ground.

“I think it’s highly unlikely that the defendant would have been able to make a positive identification of the person he says robbed him,” counsel opined.

According to him, his client was charged only on “hearsay.”
After perusing the prosecutions’ file for a while, however, the magistrate informed the lawyer that there was strong identification against his client.

In a bail application, Fung-a-Fat advanced that his client had no antecedents, posed no risk of flight and had a fixed address where he can be found by the police at 1545 Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo if needed. He said too that his client has been cooperating with the lawmen.

Grant, however, objected to the accused being granted his pre-trial liberty, citing the length in time of time it took police to arrest him. She suggested that if admitted to bail, there is a likelihood that he will not return to stand trial.

After listening to submissions on both sides, the Chief Magistrate informed the accused that he would be remanded to prison. The case was transferred to the Matthew’s Ridge Magistrate’s Court for February 5.

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