Dredge owner charged with shooting at former worker

A dredge owner was brought before a city court yesterday for allegedly discharging rounds at a former employee.

Ryan Couchman, 33, of 1360 Diamond Housing Scheme, pleaded not guilty when the charge of discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was read to him in the court of Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

The intended victim of the alleged attack was Jared Hamilton, a former employee of the defendant.

According to Prosecutor Bharat Mangru, on Saturday, December 21, 2013 Hamilton saw Couchman in a car with three persons and approached his former employer to enquire about money owed to him. An argument ensued between the two men and Hamilton was reportedly punched in the mouth by Couchman.

Later in the day, Mangru added, Hamilton was seen by the accused again. During their second meeting, Hamilton was allegedly gun-butted to the head by the defendant and made a bid to escape. However, he was shot at twice by Couchman, resulting in a wound to the right leg. The matter was reported and Couchman was subsequently charged.

Though Prosecutor Mangru did not object to bail, he requested that it be set in a substantial sum.

But the man’s lawyer, George Thomas, asked the Chief Magistrate for bail in a reasonable sum and stated that his client, who works in the interior, had not been in Georgetown at the time of the alleged attack. Thomas further stated that his client has no way of tampering with Hamilton as they do not live nearby and the defendant has no knowledge of his alleged victim’s address.

Thomas also offered to have his employer report to a police station regularly.

Couchman was later granted $150,000 bail on the condition that he reports to the Brickdam police station every two weeks. He is set to return to court on February 7, when statements will be filed.

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