Murder charges over Crabwood Creek man to be refiled after magistrate cites defects

Antonio Singh Balrup

Charges against three suspects in the case of missing Crabwood Creek man, Saeed Hamid, whose suspected burnt remains were found last Wednesday, were withdrawn by the police when the men appeared at the Blairmont Magistrate’s Court yesterday, after the magistrate pointed out defects.

Yesterday, the police had planned to charge Satrohan Madray, 32, also known as “Bluey”, and Antonio Singh Balrup, 30,  with Hamid’s murder, while they had also wanted to charge Asif Hamid, 23, who is presently on remand for another murder, with being an accessory after the fact. Asif Hamid is the son of Saeed Hamid.

However, Magistrate Rhondell Weaver pointed out to the police that Hamid’s charge, which is on the same jacket as the other joint murder charge, had been read at the New Amsterdam Magisterial District, and as such, she had no jurisdiction to institute that charge against him.

Asif Hamid

The police arrived a few minutes after 10 am yesterday with the accused and filed the case yesterday, after which the matter was slated to be called at 1 pm sharp. However at 1 pm, the policeman, who had to swear to the evidence, was missing from the courtroom.

At this point, Police Prosecutor Bernard Browne asked for the magistrate to put down the matter. The magistrate then noted that she had been ready since 9 am yesterday, however, the accused were still not present. Magistrate Weaver then stated that it was 1 pm and the police still seemed to be not ready.

She then stood down the matter, and after about 14 minutes, the detective, who was to swear to the evidence, arrived. However, it was then discovered that the file had some discrepancies as it related to Hamid being charged.

Satrohan Madray showing marks that he claimed were inflicted by the police

The matter was then further stood down, as the police attempted to make some changes.

About 40 minutes later, the police appeared ready to move ahead, as they returned to the court with Madray and Balrup. However, the Magistrate then asked about the third accused since his name was still present on the jacket.  

The magistrate at this point became even more annoyed and began to question the police as to whether they felt as though the court was a “cowboy court”. She stressed, “This is not a cowboy court”.

The magistrate then waited as the police took their time to bring Hamid, the third accused, into the court.

She then once again explained that the police had the murder charge and a charge for accessory after the fact for Hamid, on the same jacket. She again stressed that she had no jurisdiction to institute the charge against Hamid.

After Magistrate Weaver explained that she could not read the charge to the other two accused unless the case jacket is corrected, Prosecutor Browne withdrew the charges.

Madray and Balrup, who are represented by attorney-at-law, Mursaline Bacchus are expected to appear at the Fort Wellington Magistrate’s Court today to be charged jointly for murder. However, it was unclear up to press time yesterday as to when Hamid will return to court.

Relatives of both Madray and Balrup were present at court.

Both the accused and their relatives shouted insults to detectives present, telling them that they were not sure how to do their job. “Them can’t even charge people, them a wah kind a police, them na know what them doing”, one relative said.

Balrup, an ex-police constable, also repeatedly hurled insults at the police officers present. He said, he was being victimized to the highest level since he claims that he is unaware of any murder. He also alleged that the police wanted to set him up. Balrup’s father, who was also at court, said that the police had it out for his son, since he is an ex-member of the force.

Sita Madray said that her son lived alone and operated a temple.

Asif Hamid also claimed that he is unaware of any murder. “Me deh prison, them police just take me out a prison and want charge me here”.

Madray was heard telling Hamid in court that the police had assaulted him, while showing Hamid some marks on his abdomen.  

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