Eyewitness attests accused was part of trio who robbed Plaisance pharmacy

‘Cobra’ murder trial

An eyewitness yesterday testified that murder accused Tyrone Rowe called ‘Cobra’ was one of three men who robbed him and two other men while they were at a pharmacy in Plaisance, resulting in the death of Troy Collymore called ‘Collie’ and ‘Nellie’.

Rowe is on trial in the High Court before Justice Navindra Singh and a 12-member jury for the murder of Collymore who was shot on August 5, 2010 during a robbery at Datt’s Drug Store on Victor Street in Plaisance and succumbed two days later.

Police Constable Neil Thornhill told the court that he had known the accused for three years prior to August 2010 and that he was on annual vacation leave during the month of August 2010.

Tyrone Rowe  called ‘Cobra’
Tyrone Rowe
called ‘Cobra’

Thornhill recounted that on August 5, 2010, at about 8:20 pm he was with a friend at the pharmacy when Collymore and two other men, including the owner of the drugstore, Chandrika Datt called ‘Shiv’, and an overseas-based Guyanese Noel Phillips passed him and went into the pharmacy.

He said that shortly after, three males came up and they all pulled out handguns from under their shirts. Thornhill said he immediately recognised the accused. He added that there were two other men, “a fair skin guy” and a “short stout black guy”.

According to Thornhill, he was instructed to go to the back of the pharmacy and when he inquired why, the accused told him to shut his mouth and go on the ground which he did. He said the short guy kept asking him about his gun, and he told him that he did not have one.

The man said that he lay flat on his belly with his hands behind his head and while looking under his left hand he saw the short guy tell Phillips to take off his jewellery and hand over his money which he did. He said he was able to see clearly what was going on even though he was on the ground, with the aid of the light at the pharmacy and on the utility pole.

Thornhill said that Collymore who was inside the pharmacy came outside and called out a name to the accused. He was then shot to his forehead by the fair-skinned guy. He said the accused then went into the pharmacy and the fair-skinned guy said he was going to kill everyone.

Thornhill told the court that he then got up and ran up the road and hid under a bridge and that was when the short guy shot Phillips to his body. He said he was under the bridge hiding while Rowe and the fair-skinned guy were looking for him. He then ran away through a narrow passageway. He said when he went back he saw the bodies of Collymore and the short guy lying on the ground.

A massive search was launched for Rowe who turned himself in with the aid of Social Activist Mark Benschop on September 2, 2010 after a wanted bulletin was issued by the police.
Thornhill also testified that on September 4 he identified the accused during an identification parade at the Brickdam Police Station. State Counsel Tishana Lake is leading the prosecution while attorney Hukumchand is representing Rowe.

Under cross examination, Thornhill said he did not see the accused shoot Collymore.
The trial will continue on Friday.

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