Three men, among them a former police officer charged in connection with a trail of robberies; including last week’s daylight stickup and robbery of a gas truck in the Boca area in St. George’s have been denied bail.
The three, former police officer Kelly Hillarie, Sheldon Lewis and Rondell Benjamin were all remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison on Monday by Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill as they made their first court appearance at the St George’s Magistrate Court on multiple charges, some indictable others summary, allegedly occurring in the parishes of St George, St Andrew and St. Patrick’s
During their brief stint in court on Monday the men, represented by defense counsel Francis Paul in the case of Hillarie, and Peter David in the case of Lewis and Benjamin had strong arguments put forward on their behalf in favor of bail, however, after entertaining arguments from the prosecution opposing the bail application, Magistrate Gill concluded that all three should be remanded until their next court date.
Among the arguments advanced by the Prosecution was the strength of the case against all three men, the likelihood of repeat offences if allowed on bail and the number of prior convictions for similar offences against all three apart for the matter at bar.
Also emanating from the court was the fact that in the case of Hillarie, he is presently on bail for a similar offence. Additionally, his antecedent record was given at seven previous convictions, Lewis, on the other hand, 13 previous convictions while Benjamin 12 previous convictions.
Following the Boca Public Road robbery last week all three men were slapped with charges of Robbery with Violence, Possession of Ammunition and Possession of a Firearm.
Meanwhile, information coming out of the court of Monday indicate that some of the men were also jointly charged in connection with other criminal offences, allegedly taking place earlier in St. Andrew and St. Patrick, charges range from trafficking in a controlled drug to robbery with violence.
Prosecution hinted to the court on Monday that they are intent on proceeding indictable with all charges from the Boca incidents and those from St Patrick’s, however, charges emanating from the St Andrew’s matter are to proceed with at a summary level.
Given the fact that the charges for which the men appeared in court took place at different times and in different magisterial districts, different court dates were given wherein the men are due to return to court.
For matters in the St Patrick’s area, the men are due to appear at the St Patrick Magistrate Court on September 19th, for matters in St. Andrew’s the court date was given as September 12th and for the matter in St George’s their next court date was given as September 21st.