DPP appeals decision to free trio in 2017 Republic Bank heist
Two weeks after they were freed of charges linked to the attempted armed robbery of Republic Bank on Water Street, Georgetown in 2017, the decision by City Magistrate, Leron Daly, is being appealed.
According to a statement from the Guyana Police Force on Saturday, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali Hack, has confirmed that the appeal has already been filed.
The police had initially written to the DPP asking that steps be taken to overturn the recent decision to free ex-Police Constable, Anfernee Blackman, of Laing Avenue, West Ruimveldt, Georgetown; former Republic Bank employee, Shawn Grimmond of Pike Street, Kitty and ex-Rural Constable, Gladstone George, of Princes Street, Lodge, Georgetown.
George, Blackman and Grimond were freed of the charges by Magistrate Daly on June 22, 2021, four years after the daring attempted armed robbery of Republic Bank.
The magistrate agreed with the defence that the State failed to make out a case against the men. However, their co-accused, Keron Saunders, was not as lucky; the magistrate did not agree with his no-case submission and instead called on him to lead his defence on July 08.
When the case was first called in 2017, former Republic Bank employee, Jamal Haynes, 28, of Norton Street, Wortmanville, Georgetown, pleaded guilty and was jailed for six years by Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan.
George and Blackman, at the time, were constables attached to the Guyana Police Force. The two allegedly aided the robbery attempt by providing firearms. It was reported that on the morning of July 4, 2017, three armed men entered the bank before it was opened to the public.
Haynes and his alleged accomplices, Elton Wray and Saunders, had reportedly planned on getting their hands on the night’s deposits since it was a three-day weekend and companies would have deposited millions of dollars in cash.
Wray, a 25-year-old China-trained agronomist who was employed at the National Agriculture Research Extension Institute (NAREI), was shot in the chest during the robbery. He died the same day while receiving medical attention.
The perpetrators wore masks, gloves and carried handguns and opened fire on the RBL personnel inside the building. Professional Guard Service security personnel, who were on site, immediately raised an alarm and an armed response team proceeded to the location.