Bus passenger on murder charge over Mandela Avenue shooting

The man accused of killing Elvis Fernandes on Mandela Avenue was yesterday remanded to prison after being arraigned on a charge of murder at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.

The allegation against 20-year-old Lloyd Britton called `Lloyden Britton’ of 77 Surat Drive, Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara, is that on July 26 at Georgetown he murdered Fernandes.

The man, who was also wounded in the incident, was not required to enter a plea to the capital offence of murder when it was read to him by Magistrate Judy Latchman.

Elvis Fernandes
Elvis Fernandes

The man who appeared unable to walk was assisted into the court room by family members. Britton groaned periodically, complaining of pains to the region of his left rib cage.

“Don’t hold meh by meh side”, he cried loudly as he was being placed to sit in the courtroom.

His outward display of being unwell caused the court to give permission for a chair to be provided to the him as opposed to him standing in the prisoners’ dock during the proceedings.

Attorney-at-law Peter Hugh who represented the man complained that a police officer had forced his client’s thumb print onto a sheet of paper containing writing which he knows nothing about.

Hugh then made a request to be told by the court whether a caution statement for the accused was in the file, owing to the thumb print which was forcibly taken from him on Tuesday.
When asked by the court who was the officer he alleged forced him to make the thumbprint impression, Britton said that he did not know the officer’s name, but indicated that the person was seated in the court room.

With the court’s permission, he subsequently pointed out the person who on the court’s order, stood and identified himself as Detective Constable 17992 Marshall.

“I did not want to put my finger print on any paper, they force my hand and put it there,” Britton lamented, adding that he was framed.

“They trying to frame me. I was only a passenger in the bus,” the man said tearfully.

Lloyd Britton being assisted out of the court by officers
Lloyd Britton being assisted out of the court by officers

Hugh who told his client to stick his thumb out, asked the court to take note of the discoloration which he said was a remnant of the ink into which Britton’s finger was placed.

This request prompted the magistrate to descend from the Bench and in the company of the prosecutor and orderly, approach where the accused was seated in a bid to inspect his finger.

The presiding magistrate however reported to the court that she did not observe any such ink residue on the man’s finger; after which she returned to the Bench.

Meanwhile, in its address to the court, the prosecution noted that it did not have any caution statement in its file and could not say if one was taken from the accused.

Prosecutor Vishnu Hunt said that when the accused was booked and taken into custody on Tuesday, he signed a prison charge sheet upon entry.

Hunt however added that what the prosecution could confirm was that no caution statement was taken by Marshall. The court then asked for the investigating rank who swore to the charge and whether that person would be in a position to say if a caution statement was taken.

The particular rank who was present in the courtroom subsequently responded in the negative.

In furnishing the court with his client’s particulars, counsel said that his client has no convictions, but did inform the court that Britton has a pending matter before the Cove and John Magistrate’s Court.

He added too that the accused and his reputed wife are expecting their first child.

After hearing submissions on both sides, Britton was informed that he would be remanded to prison as the capital offence is not one for which bail is granted.

No facts of what transpired on the day in question were presented to the court.
His matter will be called again on September 5.

On Monday, two cousins were remanded to prison after being charged with receiving from Britton, the gun which police say was used in the murder of Fernandes.

The allegation against Jermaine Thomas, 23, and Gerome Success, 21, is that on July 26, at Georgetown, knowing that Britton had murdered Fernandes, they received a handgun from him and concealed it.

Their case continues on September 5 as well.

The police, in its only statement on the matter, said Fernandes became involved in an argument between a minibus driver and the driver of a car that he was in at the time.  Police said he was shot to his chest by a passenger in the bus, who had begun discharging rounds from a firearm.

A plain clothes policeman, who was making efforts to pacify the situation, responded and discharged a round from his service firearm which struck Britton, the statement had said, adding that the armed man re-entered the mini-bus and was taken to the Georgetown Hospital by the driver.

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