Driver remanded over Richmond crash that killed four

The driver of the minibus that was involved in last Friday’s fatal accident at Richmond, Essequibo Coast was yesterday remanded to prison when he appeared before Magistrate Sunil Scarce at the Anna Regina Magistrate’s Court.

Glenford Stephen, 26, was read four separate charges. The first charge was that on May 13, on Richmond Public Road, being the driver of motor bus BRR 3943, he drove the vehicle in a manner dangerous to the public causing the death of Gavin Lawrie. The other three charges made the same allegation in respect of Levon Gray, Esan Cornette and Stefon Benn.

Stephen was not required to plead to the four indictable charges. He was represented in court by attorney at law Dexter Todd who asked for reasonable bail to be granted to his client since Stephen has a fixed place of abode and is the father of two young children. He also said that this is the first time his client was brought before the court.

Glenford Stephen
Glenford Stephen

Police Prosecutor Haimwant Ramsewak objected to bail telling the court that 8 persons are still hospitalized as a result of the incident, four in Georgetown and four in Essequibo.

He said their conditions were listed as stable. Ramsewak said that bail should be refused citing the prevalence of the offence and said that Stephen may not attend his trial if released.

Responding to the prosecutor’s objections, Todd told the court that there is nothing evidential that the prosecution has that can give the court the impression that Stephen will not attend his trial.

He stated that it has become quite customary for many courts around the world to apply certain conditions for bail such as the defendant to report to the police station at any given time or date or that passports or other travel documents be lodged to ensure that the defendant attend trial.

This, he said, would be done by his client if bail was granted.

Todd told the court that the charges against his client were premature given the fact that proper investigations by the police were not yet concluded to prove that his client was indeed responsible and guilty of the charges.

He also told the court that his client has since cooperated fully with the police in their investigations and since there was no readiness to commence trial, bail should be granted to his client.

After considering the matter, Magistrate Scarce said that based on the grounds of the seriousness and the prevalence of the offence and the fact that there are multiple charges of the similar nature against Stephen, bail will be refused at this stage.

According to the police, about 23:20 hrs on Friday May 13, 2016, a minibus and a motor car were travelling in opposite directions along the Richmond Public Road, Essequibo Coast, when they collided. The collision subsequently lead to the death of Benn, 19 of Dartmouth, Lawrie, 19, a farmer of Plantation Andrews; Gray, 45, of 51 Public Road, Dartmouth and nineteen-year-old Esan Cornette.

The matter was adjourned until June 8, when Stephen is expected to return to court.

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