Guilty plea averts robbery trial

Co-accused absconded, could have been tried in his absence  

In Grand Court on Monday, Derrick Lloyd Simpson pleaded guilty to the robbery at Caribbean Bakery in West Bay on 29 September, 2010 and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit robbery. 

He had been jointly charged with Dan Davar Kelly, who did not appear. Crown counsel Candia James revealed that there is an Interpol “red notice” for Kelly, who has absconded apparently to the UK. 

When the two were charged and first brought to Summary Court in May 2011, Simpson was 18 and Kelly was 19. Because robbery can be dealt with only in the Grand Court, their matter was sent up and they were to attend on 10 June, 2011, for mention. 

It was not clear from Monday’s discussion when Kelly first failed to appear. 

Ms James explained that she had intended to apply to have the trial proceed in Kelly’s absence. “I didn’t want there to be any undue prejudice to [Simpson] having waited so long for trial,” she said. 

Now that Simpson had pleaded guilty, she thought it was not necessary to rush to trial when steps were still being taken to locate Kelly, Ms James advised the court. 

Kelly’s attorney, John Furniss, agreed there was no need for the trial to begin that day, although he had been prepared for it.  

Ms James said Kelly had been in contact with his mother, but his mother did not have any information as to his whereabouts because he usually blocked his number when he called. His calls were therefore unable to be traced. 

Justice Charles Quin adjourned Kelly’s matter until 16 September, the same day Simpson is to return for sentencing. 

Facts of the robbery will not be given until then, since it was not definite which judge will be presiding. 

However, some details did emerge in the plea and following discussion. Simpson was charged that he and Kelly stole $400 in cash from the bakery and at the time of doing so and in order to do so put the clerk in fear of being subjected to force. The imitation firearm used was a flare gun and the incident occurred during the day. 

Attorney Guy Dillaway-Parry pointed out that Simpson was 17 at the time and would turn 21 next month, so there had been an extraordinary delay in dealing with the matter. He emphasised that Simpson has been on a 10pm to 6am curfew. 

Ms James asked that the curfew continue, since Simpson was remaining on bail after pleading to an offence that carries a significant term of imprisonment. 

Mr. Dillaway-Parry asked for a pre-sentence social inquiry report because he thought the court would be assisted by one, given the quality of reports produced. 

Justice Quin said he was glad to hear that. His own opinion was that the reports were consistently excellent, showing deep research and involving interviews with a lot of people. 

“It’s a pity some of the other government departments aren’t as diligent as they are,” he said of the Department of Community Rehabilitation. “I mean the comparisons are odious,” the judge commented. 

INTERPOL RED NOTICE 

The Interpol website explains: “In the case of Red Notices, the persons concerned are wanted by national jurisdictions for prosecution or to serve a sentence based on an arrest warrant or court decision. INTERPOL’s role is to assist the national police forces in identifying and locating these persons with a view to their arrest and extradition or similar lawful action.”  

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