Robbery details aired in court

Two young men appeared in Summary Court on Wednesday charged with robbery after an incident in a car park off West Bay Road in the early hours of Monday, 19 January.

After hearing details, Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale remanded Rex Watler, 21, in custody. She granted bail with strict conditions to Obed Rivers, 18. Watler had other matters before the court; Rivers did not.

Crown Counsel John Masters brought the investigating officer to give evidence after Defence Attorneys Nicholas Dixey and Edward Renvoize said they would be applying for bail.

The officer, Sergeant Colin Oremule, noted that the incident took place in the car park between Triple Crown and the Marquee Plaza. However, he explained, the reference to Triple Crown was only to provide placement for the robbery alleged.

Mr. Oremule said he received information from the owner and staff of Power Supply Bar about the incident.

The officer said police received a report from a member of the public around 12.15am that a man had been robbed in the car park. He went to the scene and saw the complainant, 44, who said he had been robbed of his wallet and beaten up. The man had a wound to his forehead.

Later, Mr. Oremule said, he was invited to view the closed circuit TV at Power Supply and he was able to identify Watler, Rivers and another individual. Questioned by defence attorneys, he said the three young men and two females left the bar with the robbery victim.

One of the witnesses who saw this also saw three people kicking the victim, but he did not say who. There was good lighting, but he was about 100 yards away.

The magistrate said identification was clearly an issue. The Defence might say there was a difficulty in showing that the persons who left the bar were the persons doing the kicking.

The attorneys also asked if the witness and the victim had been invited to an identification parade. Mr. Oremule said no; he explained that the victim had said he was so drunk he could not identify his assailants.

Mr Oremule was also asked why he had not charged the third male whom he had identified. He said that person had been arrested and interviewed, but based on the Legal Department decision, he was released.

He shared other information in court and Mr. Dixey expressed concern. He said he had relied on a summary of facts given him earlier that day in order to take instructions from his client and prepare for the bail application. A misleading or insufficient summary is worse than none at all, he complained.

Mr. Oremule said a summary of facts was meant to set out the case in a nutshell. Mr. Dixey said this one was a nutshell without a nut.

The magistrate suggested that a few guidelines to police officers preparing summaries would help.

She set 10 March as the date for a preliminary inquiry into the matter so it could go to Grand Court for the opening of the April session.

Rivers’ bail conditions include a 7pm to 7am ‘doorstep’ curfew, which means that when police knock on his door he must present himself. He is also not to go to any liquor license premises.