Jose Barker, 35, called “Quarters” of 34 Howes Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, was yesterday remanded to prison by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan when he appeared before her charged with robbing a retired British soldier visiting Guyana.
Barker pleaded not guilty to the charge which stated that on May 30, 2016 at Croal Street, Georgetown, he robbed Edward Constant of one gold chain valued G$180,000. He was also accused of using personal violence against Constant during the robbery.
Barker was represented by Attorney Adrian Thompson who in an application for bail told the court his client is innocent and is a victim of mistaken identity.
He further argued that since the matter was laid indictable the case will more than likely not be tried anytime soon.
He also stated that the Magistrates’ Courts are overloaded with cases and the victim should not be given preference for the reason he is of a British nationality.
Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers successfully objected to bail on the grounds of the seriousness of the offence and its prevalence.
Jeffers told the court the accused was positively identified by Constant during an ID parade, hence his apprehension.
He added that the stolen item was not recovered.
Magistrate McLennan denied bail and Barker was remanded to prison.
He will return to court on June 16, 2016.
According to reports Constant, who is in Guyana to celebrate the country’s Golden Independence Anniversary in keeping with a pledge he made 50 years ago, told the media that on Monday morning while sightseeing around the Stabroek Market area, he felt someone grab his shirt from behind and pulled it, in the process, grabbed his gold chain to which was attached a diamond-crested ring.
“As he pulled it, he came towards me and I hit him. It was more out of temper, because I saw his face for about a second and I just punched him to the side of the head and he was gone,” the former soldier related.
Constant said the stolen items means a lot to him: “My wife bought me the gold chain… she bought me a gold chain before she died and I put her wedding ring and her engagement ring on it and it’s gone,” he lamented.
Although he spoke of one man, Constant said he was told by the police that the perpetrators were two youths.
Constant was in Guyana back in 1966 to lower the Union Jack when Guyana gained independence from Britain and promised to return when the country turns 50.