Woman denies planning GT salon robbery

Defendant Christine Rae-Smith told the court on Monday that she did not help plan the armed robbery of a George Town beauty salon last year, saying instead she was one of the victims.

Earlier, Rae-Smith explained that she was present at the robbery committed by two men on the night of July 10, 2015. She said she had gone to the salon to get her hair braided after stopping there in the morning and again after work. She said she had surrendered her watch, a cellphone and $50 to the robbers.

On Oct. 21, 2015, Paul Myles pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery and one count of possessing imitation firearms with intent to commit robbery at Elegant Nails & More. The robbery charges relate to the salon co-owner and two other women present.

On Oct. 24, 2016, Antonio Kelly pleaded guilty to the same charges.

Along with phones and jewelry, a total of $693 was stolen from the three women by means of putting them in fear of being subjected to force.

Rae-Smith said she had known Myles most of her life and considered him a friend or more of a brother. She knew Kelly only through employment; Myles had asked if Kelly could get a job.

She explained that she had been working for MLAs Winston Connolly and Roy McTaggart. She and Mr. Connolly became directors of a company that offered a beach cleaning service. Myles was the supervisor and Kelly was hired as casual labor.

Shown a series of photographs, she identified herself and Myles in two of them. Another photo was of a gun in someone’s lap. Rae-Smith said she took it at Myles’s house.

Her attorney, Lee Halliday-Davis, asked why she took the photo. Rae-Smith said that at the time Mr. Connolly was involved with an anti-gang law or motion and he had been collecting information on different things.

Asked about text messages between her and Myles on the night of the robbery, she explained that Myles had dropped her at the salon and then borrowed her truck.

One of her messages to him was “When you get in, the door can lock from the inside.” Rae-Smith said she was referring to the passenger door of the truck, which did not lock through the master control but could be locked manually.

Another message was, “I’ll give you the when.” Rae-Smith said she was saying she would be ready in a few minutes. She said she was frustrated because she had been waiting for almost two hours to have her hair done.

She was still waiting when two men dressed in black came into the salon carrying guns. She did not know who they were.

After the robbery, she borrowed someone’s phone to call Myles and tell him to come and pick her up because there had been a robbery. He said he would come but he never did. She walked to his house, which took about 15 minutes. When she asked why he had not picked her up, he said the truck was not licensed and the windshield was cracked, so he did not want to go where police would be.

She said she got into her truck, where she had another phone, and called Mr. Connolly to let him know what happened; Mr. McTaggart was off island at the time.

Kelly was at Myles’s house, along with other people. Myles said Kelly needed a ride to Bodden Town and Rae-Smith gave him a lift part-way on her way home.

Rae-Smith was still giving evidence at press time. Deputy Director of Public prosecutions Patrick Moran was expected to begin his questioning later in the afternoon.

 

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