Former police constable 33-year old Kelly Hillaire of Mt. Horne in St. Andrew is among three persons charged in connection with the armed robbery in Boca of a Rubis gas truck.
The others are 22-year-old Roydell Benjamin, unemployed of Mt. Horne and 25-year-old Grand Anse farmer, Sheldon Lewis.
The suspects appeared before the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court on Monday before Chief Magistrate
Tamara Gill, who remanded them to the Richmond Hill prison for the Boca incident and another in St. Patrick.
All three are facing joint indictable charges of Robbery with violence, Possession of a firearm (a ‘Tarus Pistol’) and 5 rounds of ammunition.
Benjamin and Lewis have retained the services of criminal defense attorney, Peter David to assist them while Attorney Francis Paul is assisting Hillaire.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the men, who were arrested somewhere in the vicinity of Mt. Horne in St. Andrew last week Monday afternoon are suspected of committing the August 28 robbery of a Rubis cooking gas truck at Boca in which the driver was held up at gunpoint in broad daylight and robbed of $5, 700 cash and a gold chain valued at $3, 000.
Benjamin and Hillaire have also been linked to another robbery that occurred on August 25 on the road in Pointzfield, St. Patrick, in which a sales van driver was held up at gun point and robbed of $430. 75.
Monday’s court hearing revealed that a search of the getaway vehicle, which was driven by Hillaire, turned up a quantity of three-and-a-half pounds of marijuana.
Police have slapped Benjamin and Hillaire with additional charges of Robbery with violence, and summary charges of Possession of a controlled drug and Trafficking of a controlled drug.
The police prosecutor told the court that the lawmen believe that there is another firearm still outstanding based on information in their possession.
This newspaper understands that a civilian had filed a complaint to the police in the recent past that one of the suspects had pulled a gun on him which is different from the one that was recovered.
The Police Prosecutor objected to bail being granted to the three suspects due to their previous record of convictions and the likelihood that they could repeat the offences.
The court was informed that Lewis has a record of 13 convictions, Benjamin (12) and Hillaire (7).
Hillaire is currently on bail for assault in another matter pending in the Grenville Magistrate’s Court.
The two defense lawyers argued that the police prosecution did not present to the court any evidence or information to suggest that their clients would not show up for court if granted bail.
Attorney David held the view that the long record of convictions is proof that the repeated offenders have not run away from their responsibility to appear in court when required.
This view was also echoed by Attorney Paul on his client’s behalf.
After listening to the arguments, the Chief Magistrate alluded to the seriousness of the offences before her and the fact that the matters would be traversing between three magisterial districts.
It was against this background that Chief Magistrate Gill refused bail and scheduled the pending matters involving the suspects for September 12 at the Grenville Magistrate’s Court, September 19 at the Sauteurs Magistrate’s Court, and September 21 at the St George’s Magistrate’s Court.