Businessman charged with abducting, confining woman

A businessman was among three persons on Monday brought before a city court to answer charges of the alleged abduction and unlawful confinement of a woman.

Freeman Fordyce, Nelson Pratt and Carl Klass appeared before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry to face the charges. Two of the men were subsequently remanded to prison, while Klass had the charge of unlawful confinement against him withdrawn by the prosecution after the court heard he had no part in the crime.

According to Prosecutor Bharat Mangru, between August 27 and August 31, 2014, Rhonda Ward was standing on Croal Street when Fordyce, the businessman, drove up and stopped in front of her. He then allegedly proceeded to push Ward into his car, after which he drove to a house in Alberttown, where he forcibly kept her confined, while Nelson Pratt kept watch. The woman was, however, released the same day.

In addition to the abduction charge read to him, Fordyce was also charged with assaulting a police officer and behaving in a disorderly manner on March 20 at the Brickdam Police Station.

Both Fordyce and Pratt pleaded not guilty to the charges read to them.

On behalf of Fordyce, attorney Peter Hugh stated that the man owns a pawn shop, from where Ward had borrowed $500,000 but was subsequently unable to repay.

Hugh said further that on the day of the alleged abduction, Fordyce had offered to take Ward to a relative’s home, in hopes of getting the money which was owed to him. However, when Ward failed to provide the money, he said Fordyce pushed her out of his car. Fordyce was allegedly arrested and charged two days after the incident occurred.

Mangru objected to bail, saying he feared if it were granted the accused would attempt to tamper with Ward. He also asked the court to take into consideration the seriousness of the crime and the penalty it attracts.

The Chief Magistrate afterward refused bail for the duo and ordered them to return to court on April 2 for trial.

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