[www.inewsguyana.com] – 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.
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.