Leopold St. youth on $1.9M bail for arson of several buildings

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A 19-year-old construction worker was on Friday granted $1.9M bail on three counts of arson in relation to setting fire to a property located at Durban and George Streets, Georgetown in June.

Anthony Sookhoo of Leopold Street, Werk-en-Rust, appeared before Magistrate Dylon Bess at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court and pleaded not guilty to the three charges.

The first charge alleged that on June 24, 2021, at Lot 1 George Street, Werk-en-Rust, he unlawfully and maliciously set fire to a dwelling house valued at $18M and containing articles valued at an additional $6M, the property of Collin Bentley.

The second charge alleged that on the same date and location, Lawrence unlawfully and maliciously set fire to a nearby house valued at $38M, owned by Nalini Baboolall, and containing articles valued at $10M belonging to Kevin Phillips.

The adjoining house where the Venezuelan’s lived that was destroyed in the blaze. (Photo: News Room/ June 24, 2021)

 

The last charge alleged that Lawrence unlawfully and maliciously set fire to the business place of Hardat Maniram which is valued at $150M and contained articles amounting to $30M.

The prosecutor objected to Sookhoo being granted bail on the grounds of the seriousness of the charge and the value of the properties involved.

However, Magistrate Bess granted bail in the sum of $1.9M bail and adjourned the case until January 13, 2022.

Sookhoo is the second person to be charged in connection with this case; in July, Calvin Lawrence, 22, also from Leopold Street was remanded to prison for the crime.

According to reports, the men were allegedly caught on CCTV footage entering Phillips’ yard minutes before the fire ignited.  They were also seen running away from the location. Phillips is the owner of a vulcanizing shop at the George Street building.

He lived upstairs with his family of six. Maniram is the owner of Elegance Jewellery and Pawn Shop, the building located next door to the vulcanizing shop. A property that housed about 12 Venezuelan migrants was also destroyed during the fire.

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