The once-feared “Ossie” will know in a matter of days whether a Jury has found him guilty or innocent of the 2015 robbery of the Patel family at their home in Belmont
Aldin ‘Ossie’ Phillip – claims he was not a part of the robbery team
The State last week Friday called its eighth and final witness in the case brought against the once feared gangster Aldin ‘Ossie’ Phillip, who is charged with Robbery with Violence and Possession of an offensive weapon in connection to the stealing of EC$16, 000 with the use of firearm from a St. George’s businessman Mahindra Patel, his wife and son on December 22, 2015.
High court judge, Justice Paula Gilford was on Friday expected to sum up the evidence before sending the 9-member jury panel out of court to deliberate on the verdict to be handed down on the convicted felon.
Both the State Prosecutor, Senior Crown Counsel, Howard Pinnock and veteran Defense attorney, Anselm Clouden were expected on Thursday to make their final presentations to the mixed jury sitting at the St. George’s No. 1 High Court.
It was the Crown’s case during the trial that the notorious Phillip, along with four (4) other men, all from St. George’s, ranging between ages of 18 and 40 were responsible for a spate of robberies on the island, most of which occurred between November 2015 and January 1, 2016.
Phillip, who lived at Grand Anse, St. George’s, along with Donnel Bonaparte of Mt. Rush and Isa Charles of Woburn, were slapped with robbery with violence, and gun related charges in connection to the alleged attack at the family’s home at Belmont, St. George, where they operated a small business.
The three suspects were jointly charged for stealing from the family, three (3) cellular phones valued $1,148.10, cash amounting to EC$15,000.00, and a coin box containing EC$160.00.
All three men have been on remand since their arrest for the crimes in 2015.
Bonaparte and Charles pleaded guilty to the offence before female high court judge, Justice Gilford in the January assizes and were ordered to spend the next 15 years of their lives behind bars at the Richmond Hill Prison for their crimes.
However, Ossie decided to go to trial and according to informed sources, he did not feel comfortable with his matter being tried before the Guyanese-born judge, in light of the stiff sentences handed down on Bonaparte and Charles.
Ossie, who is believed to be the mastermind behind a string of well orchestrated robberies on the island occurring during November 2015 and January 2016, had only been released from prison for just about six (6) months after serving a 10-year jail sentence for attempted murder, burglary, robbery and robbery with violence.
In 2011, Phillip received a 10-year jail sentence from Madam Justice Clare Henry at a high court sitting after he launched an attack on the home of the Antoine family in St. Andrew, wearing a mask and armed with a gun on February 23, 2009, and got away with EC $300.00 and US $2.00.
In the process, a member of the family, Reginald Charles was shot three times resulting in him spending 15 days in hospital.
Police also suspect that Phillip was involved in several other criminal activities on the island over the years but lacked sufficient evidence to slap charges on him.
High court judge, Justice Paula Gilford
The accused who is originally from St. Patrick spent most of his early childhood in Trinidad but returned home in the past 15 years after many encounters with the law in the neighbouring island, which saw him also spending prison time there.
Police had apprehended a third man, Sylvan Thomas, in connection to the Patel family robbery and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), managed to strike a deal with him to testify against Phillip as a key witness for the Crown.
Among the witnesses called to give evidence in the case led by Senior Crown Counsel, Howard Pinnock, was Patel’s son, who provided the court with a detailed account of the family’s encounter with the group of intruders who were all wearing stocking masks, and each carrying a gun at their Belmont home.
Ossie, who retained the services of seasoned criminal defense Attorney-at-Law Anselm Clouden to assist with his defense, was allowed to stand in the prisoner’s dock to address the court last week Friday.
He lashed out at Thomas, who he charged should be the one standing trial for the offences and not him because he is the one who “played all the roles in the crime.”
He referred to Thomas as the one responsible for the Patel family robbery, stating that he is not a credible witness because he is a felon and a liar, who had done time in the United States for sex-related offences and Burglary.
Ossie also alleged that there were several inconsistencies in the statements presented to the court against him during the trial.
The notorious gangster claimed that certain evidence in the case had been tampered with and maintained his innocence of the charges slapped on him.
He called for a fair trial and also made it clear that he is ready to face whatever penalty is handed down to him.
“All I am asking for is a fair trial…” he told the court.
If convicted, Ossie faces a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment for the charge of Robbery with Violence and a lesser penalty for Possession of a firearm.