Captured fugitive finally charged with Five Star backdam murder

Cleveland Smithet

A man was yesterday remanded to prison after being charged with murdering a miner at Five Star backdam in 2011.

The charge alleged that Carlton Blake on December 13th, 2011, at Five Star Backdam, North West District, murdered Cleveland Smithet in the course or furtherance of a robbery.

Blake was not required to plead to the indictable charge, which was read to him by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan in Georgetown.

The magistrate adjourned the matter until November 6th, when a hearing is to be held at the Matthews Ridge Magistrate’s Court.

Blake was reportedly on the run for over six years before being captured in 2017. He was expected to be charged since then but was not due to contracting tuberculosis.

Smithet, of Kuru Kururu, his brother and another miner were attacked by two men on the trail to the backdam, where they were relieved of the raw gold they had in their possession.

“The men demanded gold and were given a quantity of raw gold. They were apparently not satisfied with that and fatally shot Cleveland Smithet,” police said at the time, while adding that at this point Trevor Smithet and the dredge owner began to run, and the men discharged rounds at them, hitting Trevor Smithet to his right foot. The men then dealt him several blows about his head and body while the dredge owner escaped, police added.


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