Robbery, firearm charges dismissed

Crown brings charge of handling stolen goods

The crown offered no evidence against Aaron John Bernardo in Grand Court on Friday, Aug. 16, in relation to an armed robbery at Kirk Freeport Jewellers in January.

After recording not guilty pleas, Justice Alexander Henderson dismissed the charges for want of prosecution.

Crown counsel Candia James first advised that the crown did not intend to proceed with charges of robbery and possession of an imitation firearm. She said another count was proposed – that of handling stolen goods. The defendant pleaded not guilty to that charge also and trial was set for Dec. 9.

Mr. Bernardo, now 29, first appeared in Summary Court on Jan. 15 charged with robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence. The matter was transmitted to Grand Court for Jan. 25.

Details of the robbery charge alleged that he, on Jan. 7, 2013, together with three unknown persons, at Kirk Freeport Jewellers in The Strand on West Bay Road, stole Rolex and Breitling watches valued at US$525,500 and at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, put or sought to put the Kirk employees in fear of being subjected to force.

The firearm offence alleged that he, in the company of three unknown persons, had an imitation firearm with intent to commit the robbery.

The new charge of handling alleges that, between Jan. 7-8 in George Town, he dishonestly received a Rolex watch, valued at CI$10,878, knowing or believing the watch to be stolen.

Defense counsel John Ryder, instructed by attorney Lucy Organ, advised that the question of trial by jury or judge alone had not yet been addressed.

Justice Henderson continued the defendant’s bail.

After recording not guilty pleas, Justice Alexander Henderson dismissed the charges for want of prosecution.