Anthony David, one of the five men accused of robbing Justice Nicola Pierre and her husband, yesterday said that he was set up by police, who he accused of holding him for days without any explanation, assaulting him and then trying to recruit him as an informant.
Taking the witness stand yesterday to lead his defence, David told Magistrate Zamilla Ally-Seepaul that after working at Mike’s Pharmacy from 8.30am to 5.30pm on July 8, 2015, he went to his house in Hadfield Street.
David said he did not leave his house until the morning of July 9 to take his daughter to an appointment at her paediatrician, which was for 8am, at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. From there, he said he went to work.
On July 14, David said, the police stopped him and asked to search his vehicle while he was about to go into work.
He said they told him that it was just a routine search. David added that they did not find anything that warranted suspicion in the car or on him. However, he said that an “Officer Narine” told him to take the car to the police station.
David told the court that even though he found this as odd, he complied with the officers but he wanted to go into work first to tell his boss that he would be going down to the police station. He said when he was turning to leave to go into the pharmacy, the police drew their weapons at him and told him that he was needed at Eve Leary right away.
David said at Eve Leary, he was placed in a cage until July 18, at which point he finally spoke to Officer Mitchell Caesar. He said that while he was in a room with Caesar, two officers, identified as Melville and Narine, started to hit him. He said when the two officers were through, Caesar asked him a series of questions and made a strange offer to him. “‘Who are you? I never saw you before. Who are you?” he recalled Caesar asking. “‘I am going to make you an offer. You look like the type of guy that has a head on your shoulder. You’re going to work for me—as in anywhere around you hear a crime go down, I will give you my personal cell phone number so you can contact me. That is my officer to you!’” David recounted the officer saying.
David said that he refused the job of acting as an informant, telling the officer that he is comfortable as a bond clerk at the pharmacy. He said that Caesar who wasn’t too pleased with him turning down the job offer and told him that for doing so he will make him [David] rot in jail. He said that Caesar ordered the two officers to put him back in jail, telling them that David was not saying what he wanted to hear.
David testified that throughout the entire time he was in police custody he had no idea what he was in jail for. He said the police kept telling him “Just now! Just now!” He said he was constantly being tormented by officer Narine and Caesar about coming out of jail. He said he was back and forth at three police stations—Sparendaam, Grove and Eve Leary—for six days.
On July 20, David said that the police took him and some other men up to Caesar’s office and shackled them together. There, in the office, he asked where they were going and he said an officer replied, “You will know when you gets there.” David said that on that day, they took him along with the men to the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to be charged with robbery. He told the court that it was then that he knew what he was in police custody for.
David further told the court that while he was in jail he was unable to see his wife, even though he was told by the police she was there. He said that the police even told him that his wife said that no lawyer would take the case for him.
During cross-examination by prosecutor Nigel Hughes, David told the court that Caesar was probably doing Narine a favour by locking him up. The prosecutor asked whether he was upset about these two officers pinning a crime on him that he said he did not do and why did he not tell his lawyer about it even when officer Caesar came to testify. David replied that he was very upset and vocal about being set up by the police. He said that yesterday was the first time he told anyone that he was set up. David said that he did mention it to his wife and his lawyer but he never told them everything. “It was the first time that I am telling all,” David said in closing.
David, Daymeion Millington, Nicolas Narine, Premnauth Samaroo, and Warren McKenzie are all on trial for allegedly robbing Justice Pierre and her husband, Mohammed Chan, of cash and other articles amounting to over $3.6million, as well as shooting at security guard Ron Peters on July 9, 2015.
The trial continues on May 3.