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No bail for man charged with stealing SUV outside station
One man was granted bail and the other remanded into custody after they appeared in court on charges related to the armed robbery of CNC3 television anchor Khamal Georges, last week.
Gamal Waldron, of Layan Hill, Belmont, and Thion Clurvis, of St James, appeared before Magistrate Nizam Khan in the Port-of-Spain Magistrate’s Court yesterday on separate criminal charges.
Waldron, who was charged with stealing Georges’ vehicle from outside the Besson Street Police Station after it was recovered following an armed robbery, last week, while Clurvis was charged with being in possession of Georges’ stolen cellphone. Neither was charged for the armed robbery.
Khan was initially considering to grant bail to Waldron, a sanitation worker at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital, but changed his mind after he inspected the prisoner’s criminal record.
The records showed that Waldron had served three prison sentences for breaching a bond to keep the peace, larceny and house-breaking.
Waldron’s lawyer Shane Pantin asked Khan to ignore the convictions as the most recent was over 10 years ago. He also said that his client, a father of two, competes and performs with the BP Renegades Steel Orchestra.
However, Khan said he still needed to consider the convictions as they still formed part of his criminal record and are similar to the offence, for which he is now charged.
“The purpose of bail is not to punish the defendant but is a conditional release. Bail also deals with re-offending and I have to consider what is going on in the country,” Khan said.
He advised Pantin that he may apply to a judge in chambers to vary his bail order.
During the hearing, Khan did not ask Waldron to plead to the charge as police prosecutors were unable to say whether the case should be prosecuted indictably (before a High Court judge and jury) or summarily before him (Khan).
Prosecutors are expected to give the indication when Waldron re-appears on September 11.
Clurvis’ court appearance took place hours before Waldron’s.
Clurvis pleaded not guilty to the charge during his brief hearing as prosecutors elected to have it determined summarily.
He was released on $40,000 bail and was ordered to reappear in court on September 27.
Georges’ Kia Sportage was first stolen as he was ambushed by two gunmen when he returned to his home after attending the opening Caribbean Premier League game, last Wednesday.
After robbing him of his cellphone, wallet and car, Georges reportedly asked the bandits for his identification cards and apartment key, which was in the car.
The men threatened by pointing a gun at Georges before driving away.
The vehicle was eventually recovered by police at the Bath Street Plannings in Port-of-Spain, the following morning.
The vehicle was impounded at the Besson Street Police Station and officers requested that Georges supply the certified copy of the vehicle before releasing it.
Several hours later, police officers at the station noticed that the vehicle was missing.
It was eventually recovered at Roget Place, St Barb’s Road, Belmont, the following morning. It has since been returned to Georges.
The incident prompted acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams to apologise to Georges for the incident.
An internal investigation has also been launched into the theft at the station, which is also located within a stone’s throw away from specialist police units housed at Riverside Plaza.
Waldron was arrested and charged by officers of the Port-of-Spain CID led by Senior Supt Ajith Persad and ASP Anderson Pariman.
Clurvis was arrested and charged by detectives of the Western Division.
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