Date set for kidnapping inquiry

All defendants now have attorneys

All four men accused of involvement
with an alleged kidnapping last month have had a date set for a preliminary inquiry
into the charges against them.

They appeared before Chief
Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale on Thursday, when Defence Attorney Clyde Allen
agreed to represent Allan Sywell Kelly.

With all the men now having
lawyers, Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale was able to set Thursday, 6 May,
for a preliminary inquiry to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to
send the matter to Grand Court. 

The charges of kidnapping and abduction, keeping a kidnapped person in confinement and
blackmail can be tried only in the Grand
Court.

Facing those charges along with
Kelly, 40, are Richard Robert Hurlstone, 32; Wespie Wilfred Mullings Ramon, 36;
and Charles Felix Sanders Webster, 28.

Hurlstone is accused of counselling
and procuring the offences of abduction,
confinement and blackmail, Solicitor General Cheryll Richards explained at a
bail hearing earlier this month.

The other three men face further
charges of assault causing actual bodily harm to the victim
and threatening violence.

The Crown’s case is that the victim, a young adult male, was induced by deceitful
means to go to a particular address on Thursday, 18 March, and then was kept in
confinement there. The assaults and threats were said to have occurred while
the victim was confined.

The defendants allegedly made an
unwarranted demand of his mother for $500,000 – in effect, ransom payment. This
offence was charged as blackmail.

The young man reportedly escaped
after he was left alone in the early evening of Friday, 19 March.

Along with Mr. Allen, other defence
attorneys are Anthony Akiwumi for Hurlstone; John Furniss for Mullings; and Ben
Tonner for Webster.

If the preliminary inquiry results
in the men being committed to stand trial in Grand Court, they would appear on
Wednesday, 7 July.

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