Godfrey Gill, 22, and Sherwin Clark, 27, the two men who police say are responsible for murdering Better Hope pensioner David Ramkissoon, were yesterday charged with the crime as well as armed robbery.
Gill, 22, of 65 Prince William Street, Plaisance and Clark, 27, of Lot 1 South Better Hope, both on the East Coast of Demerara, appeared before Magistrate Zamilla Ally-Seepaul and were read the charge that on August 21, at Better Hope, they murdered Ramkissoon, 76, during the course of a robbery.
Although they were not required to plead to the charge, both Gill, through his lawyer, and Clark indicated that they had no knowledge of the crime and accused the police of brutalising them.
Police, who reported yesterday that the accused were linked to the crime after they were overheard arguing over money, have said that a third man is being sought in connection with the murder.
The magistrate also read a charge of armed robbery to Gill and Clark. It was alleged that on August 26, at Plaisance, the men robbed Brandon Charles of a cell phone, a laptop, and $120,000 and used personal violence on the victim during the attack. Gill and Clark pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Clark also faced a separate charge that on September 7, at Better Hope, he robbed Abigail Thornhill of a gold chain, valued $100,000 and an iPhone, valued $85,000. Clark also pleaded not guilty to this charge.
Attorney Dexter Todd, who appeared on behalf of Gill, told the court that in both cases that the police have against his client they have all but one thing, which is a caution statement.
Todd said that both Gill and Clark were in police custody since Friday.
He lamented that there was a time when the police did not allow him to see his client, whom, he said, had received beatings at the hands of the police.
The lawyer said that when he visited his client, who was held at the Vigilance Police Station lock-ups, the man had complained to him of feeling pains in his chest and abdomen. Todd said that he had asked a police constable stationed at the police station to take his client to a medical institution. He said that he believed that the police had delayed his client from seeing a doctor, so as to give time for his swellings from the beatings to go down.
The lawyer, who was visibly angry, told the magistrate that the atmosphere at the lock-ups reminded him of the monkeys in a zoo, as they had refused to open the grill for his client to be fed properly.
Meanwhile, Clark, who was also given an opportunity to speak, told the court that he did not know Gill. He said that they were taken by three policemen and were beaten. He said that the officers, whom he identified, placed a bag over their heads and gun-butted them.
However, Police Prose-cutor David Goodridge told the court that Gill was taken to a medical facility to be examined. Goodridge later produced a copy of the medical report to the court.
According to the prosecutor, on August 21, at Better Hope, Gill and Clark, invaded Ramkissoon’s home and robbed him. In the course of the robbery, he said they allegedly slit Ramkissoon’s throat and left him for dead.
Goodridge said that after the murder Gill and Clark had an argument over the money they had stolen from the deceased’s home. The prosecutor said that the police were tipped off by someone who overheard the argument and the two men were later arrested.
Goodridge added that the investigation into the murder is incomplete as some issues were raised by the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office that need to be cleared up.
In relation to the armed robbery charge against the duo, the prosecutor said that the men had followed Charles from a popular night spot on the Plaisance line top and attacked him. Goodridge said Charles had identified the men as his attackers.
As regards the robbery charge against Clark, the prosecutor said Thornhill also identified him as the man who rode up on a bicycle and snatched her gold chain and her smartphone.
Goodridge maintained that Gill and Clark have given oral confessions to the police in relation to both robberies.
Magistrate Ally-Seepaul later refused bail and adjourned the matters until November 1 for a report.
As he left the court, Clark became irate and began spitting at members of the media for taking his picture. The accused also started to lash out at an officer who was trying his best to subdue him.