Bartica man charged for helping fugitive son, other dangerous escapees


A 60-year-old boat operator was on Monday remanded to prison for harbouring his fugitive son along with three other inmates who escaped from the Mazaruni Prison last week.

Ralph Jones of Fourth Avenue, Bartica appeared virtually before Magistrate
Crystal Lambert at the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrate’s Court on four counts of harbouring fugitives and was not required to plead to the indictments.

It was alleged that on February 16, well knowing that Rayon Jones, Imran Ramsaywack, Kenrick Lyte and Samuel Gouveia being convicted prisoners at the Mazaruni Prison, he received, comforted, harboured and maintained them.

His attorney, Adrian Thompson, told the court that the defendant’s son along with the three others escapes showed up at his client’s home and demanded food, clothes, and money.

Escapees from L-R: Imran Ramsaywack, Kenrick Lyte, Samuel Gouveia and Rayon Jones

The attorney further told the court that his client was fearful for his life and complied with the demands.

Magistrate Lambert refused Jones bail and remanded him to prison until March 5.

The last reported sighting of the four inmates who escaped was around 01:00h on Wednesday at Fourth Avenue, Bartica, according to a statement from Police Headquarters.

The men showed up at the home of Jones and were each provided with a change of clothing. The police did not state the particulars of the clothing the men changed into but continued to ask that any sightings of the men be reported to the nearest police station.

According to the police, Jones disclosed that after his son escaped from the Mazaruni Prison, he contacted him by telephone sometime after 21:00h on Tuesday and informed him of his actions.

The elder Jones further admitted that sometime after 01:00h the following day, all four of the escapees showed up at his house where he provided each of them with a change of clothing.

He, in turn, collected the clothing they were wearing and dumped them in an alleyway aback his house in Fourth Avenue, Bartica.

Ralph Jones was arrested and charged for harbouring fugitives.

Last Thursday, police ranks went to the location where they found a white ‘salt’ bag that contained clothing, footwear, deodorant, topes, pillow and pillow-cases, along with a bottle of Red Star rub, a toothbrush and a food bowl.

The Joint Services is continuing the search for the escapees and encourages all law-abiding citizens to report to the nearest police station or call 455-2238, 455-2222, 455- 2241, 226-4585, 225-2700, 225-3650 or 911 should they be seen.

All information will be treated with strict confidence.

The prison service confirmed that the escape occurred at about 07:15h on February 16, during the unlocking of the solitary Division. It was observed that the padlock to the entrance gate was tampered with; further checks revealed that two bars from within the cell were cut.

The police have since issued wanted bulletins for men who will now face an ‘Escaping from Lawful Custody’ charge. Ramsaywack and Lyte were imprisoned following murder convictions while Gouveia and Jones were convicted for manslaughter. Ramsaywack of Berbice was sentenced to death after being found guilty of the murder of a United States-based Buxton woman in 2015.

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