Man jailed for 9 years without a trial tells his story


They called him Raymond Jones, but his real name was the other way around – Jones Raymond; the mix-up could have been one of the reasons why the man, accused of killing another man with an arrow , spent nine years behind bars without a trial.

Raymond, now 58, walked out of the Camp Street prison in Georgetown on Friday. He has admitted to killing a man with an arrow after his son was attacked but said he acted in self-defense.

He was freed after High Court judge Sandil Kissoon found that his constitutional right to a free trial within a reasonable time was breached by the State. His case went to court because of the efforts of his daughter.

Raymond was accused of fatally stabbing Gary Joseph with an arrow on December 26, 2012, at Micobie. He was later charged and committed to stand trial in 2014 following a preliminary inquiry (PI) before Magistrate Allen Wilson.

In 2015, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack received the depositions for Raymond’s case and remitted the matter back to the Magistrate to do further work; but nothing was ever done.

Incorrect name

Raymond, a father of four children lost everything while imprisoned and according to him, he even lost his identity. He explained during a press briefing with the media on Monday that there had been a mix-up with his name and recounted what would happen when he would inquire about his case.

Jones Raymond and his daughter, Nekeita (Photo: News Room/July 18, 2022)

“My name is Jones Raymond but they had me as Raymond Jones and I asked them if they had any charges concerning Jones Raymond and they said no.

“I asked in the Essequibo Court, they said they have no charges against me.”

He suffered many health complications while in prison.

“I was incarcerated and punishing.

“I prayed every day and night; the food wasn’t nice, eating slush every day and drinking tea without sugar,” the man said.

His lawyer, Teriq Mohammed, spoke about the name mix-up.

“On the prison record, he is recorded as Raymond Jones so, if someone was inquiring for Jones Raymond, they would not have been able to find that name,” Mohammed said.

‘I had no intentions to kill him’

Raymond said he was defending himself when Joseph was killed on Boxing Day in 2012. He claimed that on the day in question, his son was attacked and stabbed by Joseph while buying a drink at a nearby shop.

“I didn’t have no intention killing this man or had no intention killing anybody in my life and when I go I ask him, I said: ‘What you do to [my son]?’

“He rushed to me with a bottle in his hand and I had to take my weapon and push it towards him – my arrow,” Raymond recalled.

He was later arrested, charged, and remanded.

The man described his time behind bars as traumatising but said he managed by preaching and weeding.

“I cannot forget these things, I lost everything – my house, my boat; I used to do farming – all my tools, everything gone,” Raymond said.

A daughter’s love

When she was 21-years-old, Nekeita Raymond met her father for the first time. She spent several years living in Brazil and returned to Guyana recently.

The young woman visited her father in prison and discovered that he had been abandoned and immediately started working to get him out.

“He was abandoned, nobody was there to visit him for 10 years actually.

“It hurt to see him like that, even though I didn’t grow up with him going in there and see him in that situation, it was terrible. He wasn’t eating, seeing or hearing…even though he didn’t do anything for me this is the least I could do,” Nekeita who could not hold back her tears, said.

She sought assistance from the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and hired a lawyer.

“I didn’t have a father for years and it was hard. Anybody who didn’t grow up with a father would know and now be able to serve him breakfast and do things for him, I’m very happy,” she told the News Room.

Meanwhile, attorney-at-law Mohammed said he is still in discussions with the family on whether the State will be sued.

“Had this matter not come up at all, he would have stayed in jail and languished away.”

Attorney-at-law Teriq Mohammed (Photo: News Room/July 18, 2022)
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