[www.inewsguyana.com] – The two University of Guyana students who were found guilty of an $8M armed robbery have been sentenced to do community service and undergo counselling by City Magistrate, Judy Latchman on Monday, August 04.
Darien Best, 20, of Lot 429 Guyhoc Park, Georgetown and Joel De Mendonca, 21, of Lot 17 Providence, East Bank Demerara, were both found guilty of robbing Golyn and Sons Fashion, on Regent Street, of a quantity of cell phones worth $8,968,000 on July 25, 2014.
Magistrate Latchman ordered that they perform six hours of community service for the next twenty-five Mondays along with a maximum period of counselling, as deemed fit by a probation officer.
De Mendonca was instructed to perform his community service at the National Library, while Best will be doing his at the Palms.
Failure to complete the sentences will result in them being imprisoned for 48 months. Prior to passing sentence, the Magistrate took into consideration the fact that the duo had no negative antecedents and that the probation reports were in their favour.
They were both charged and found guilty of 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, Best 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 Best 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 De Mendonca’s house in Providence. During their first appearance in court, the prosecutor informed the Court that De Mendonca confessed to being the driver who fled the scene with Best and Gibson.