The Patel Family came face-to-face last week for the first time with the group of men who allegedly staged an armed robbery at their home in Belmont in December.
Three of the four suspects including the man believed to be the ring leader, Aldin ‘Ossie’ Phillip appeared in court on Monday for the start of the Preliminary Inquiry into the charges laid against them.
Phillip who lives at Grand Anse, St. George’s, along with Donnel Bonaparte of Mt. Rush, and Isa Charles of Woburn are charged with robbery with violence, and causing harm in connection with the alleged attack on Businessman Mahindra Patel, and his wife and son on December 22, 2015.
Chief Magistrate Her Honour Tamara Gill started the PI at the St. George’s Number One Magistrate’s Court without the presence of the fourth person who was charged by Police in connection with the armed robbery.
All three accused appeared without legal representation.
Phillip, Bonaparte and Charles who are jointly charged are accused of stealing from the Patel Family three cellular phones valued $1,148.10, cash amounting to $15,000, and a coin box containing $160.00.
Patel provided the PI 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.
The case for the State is being lead by Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Nelson.
The PI continues on March 17.
Phillip is jointly charged with four other men for other robbery offences.
At the time of making their first court appearance on January 15, Head of the Police Prosecution Department, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Godfrey Victor informed the court that the accused persons are jointly charged on different occasions, at different places, and different times.
Police sources have been pointing an accusing finger at Phillip as the mastermind of a string of robberies that allegedly took place between November 2015 and January 1, 2016.
He is due to return to court again on March 11 and March 14 for other matters.
In 2011, Phillip received a ten-year jail sentence from Madam Justice Clare Henry after he entered a
Phillip who was at the time wearing a mask and armed with a gun, launched an attack at the home of the Antoine family at La Poterie, St. Andrew’s 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 causing him to spend 15 days in hospital.
Police also suspected Phillip of being involved in several other criminal activities on the island over the years but lacked sufficient evidence to slap charges on him.
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.