One man pleads guilty to New Year’s robbery

Trial date for two other defendants set in September

One of three men charged with the New Year’s Day robbery of Diamonds International entered guilty pleas Thursday in Grand Court. 

Jonathan Mark Ramoon answered “Guilty” to the two charges: that, at the jewelry store on North Church Street, together with another person, he stole jewelry valued at US$814,750 and used force against a named person to do so; and that, with another person, he had a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver without a firearms license. 

Ramoon, who had previously come to court on a hospital stretcher and then in a wheelchair, this time stood in the dock with crutches. He was injured when struck by a vehicle driven by Police Commissioner David Baines moments after the robbery. 

[The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions prepared a report of the investigation to determine whether the use of force was justified; last week police were notified that “no criminal conduct was revealed or disciplinary actions warranted.”] 

In court yesterday, Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards advised Justice Charles Quin that Sept. 15 had been set for the start of the men’s trial, but they had not yet been arraigned (asked by the court to enter their pleas). 

Defense attorney Irvin Banks said his client, Ramoon, wished to be arraigned that day. 

Attorney John Furniss noted that there were still inquiries going on and asked for another date on behalf of Christopher Julian Myles. 

The third defendant, James Herbert McLean, had parted ways with his previous attorney at an earlier hearing; his new attorney, Nicholas Hoffman, asked for time to go over the papers in the case with his client. 

Mr. Banks asked for a social inquiry report for his client. The judge agreed. A plea and directions hearing had already been set for July 24 and the judge directed that all three defendants return on that date. 

The men have been in custody since Jan. 1.