UG Students found guilty of $8M robbery

Joel De Mendonca.
Joel DeMendonca.
Joel DeMendonca.

[] – Two students of the University of Guyana Turkeyen Campus were found guilty on Wednesday, July 15 by Magistrate Judy Latchman for a $8M armed robbery.

Darien Best, 20, of Lot 429 Guyhoc Park and Joel DeMendonca, 21, of Lot 17 Providence Park, East Bank Demerara were both charged with two counts of robbery under arms, one of which stated that on January 25, 2014, being armed with a gun they robbed Golyn and Sons Fashion Store on Robb Street of a quantity of cellular phones worth $8,968,000.

Particulars of the other charge noted that they used a gun to further rob Mohanlall Narine, who is the store clerk of two gold and diamond rings valued at $500,000 as well as his $130,000 Samsung Galaxy cellular phone.

Morris Gibson, 22, of Lot 334 East Street, South Cummingsburg, Georgetown, was also charged with the duo; however the matter was discharged against him earlier in the trial.

Darion Bess
Darien Best

It was the prosecution’s case that at around 09:00 hrs on the day in question, Gibson approached the clerk at the store inquiring about the prices of various cellular phones and a fan.

During that time, Bess entered the store, approached the clerk and pointed a gun to his head and then ordered him to pack up the cell phones, to which the clerk complied.

Subsequently, Best left the store and joined a waiting car on King Street and escaped. Police acted on information received and intercepted Bess and Gibson at Peter’s Hall. At that time, Best was carrying a haversack on his back which when checked by the ranks, revealed a quantity of cellular phones.

Best and Gibson were arrested and through police interrogation they subsequently led ranks to DeMendonca’s house in Providence. During their first appearance in court, the prosecutor informed the Court that DeMendonca confessed to being the driver who fled the scene with Best and Gibson.

Representing DeMendonca was Attorney-at-law, Peter Hugh, while Best was represented by Attorney Adrian Thompson. Thompson said his client is a first time offender, a student of UG and has a medical condition.

Hugh on the other hand told the court that his client studies at UG (Accounting and Business Management) with no previous convictions. The lawyer requested that the court uses discretion in its sentence and urged the Magistrate to be lenient in these circumstances, while stating that everyone is entitled to a second chance.

Hugh is of the view that placing his client with hardened criminals will make the situation worse than it already is. Meanwhile, Magistrate Latchman ordered a probation report within two weeks but Hugh requested that this be shorter because if the defence is not satisfied with the decision, he would like an opportunity to file for an appeal.

The report is expected to be produced on August 03, when the matter will be called again.




  1. What a shame, these young men are greedy, lazy and deadly. Give them a second chance, Ok let them do twenty years of community service in Jail. Fellow Guyanese let us be resilient and resolved to reject any and every form of wepon based crime – especially gun crimes. sometimes i wonder if the lawyers of these confessed criminals plead as they do because the get some form of kick back.
    Lord deliver us from these murderous and greedy men whose only intention is to get rich quick even if it means taking an innocent life, about which the lawyers do not give a hoot because they have collected money to be soft on society’s plagues.

  2. They should be punished accordingly…no second chance. A student from UG is not one who is incapable of knowing what is wrong….Such a shame this is what our young ones are turning to….wish they would channel such energies towards activities with positive outcomes. And such embarrassment to the parents etc….

  3. Peter HUGH in a plea of mitigation, ”urged the Magistrate to be lenient in these circumstances, while stating that everyone is entitled to a second chance”
    Mr Hugh, are you serious? Did you not consider the seriousness of the offence when taking on the responsibility of representing them in court? Was the state paying for your services or the client?
    Second chance to do what? Criminals in Guyana while on bail continue to ply their ”trade” and that also include those who were freed by the courts.
    They knew fully well what they were getting into was a criminal act. They planned and executed that act knowing the consequences if caught. They should be put away for a long time so that they can experience what colonoscopy examination is all about for free.

  4. Put these thugs away! And I want to hear LONG sentences. The country is crying out for these criminals to be sentences for many many years so they don’t come out anytime soon to prey on the innocent.

    Is that what they are learning at UG?


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