|Penny’s brother, 3 others granted $1.6M bail |
By Darcel Choy Tuesday, March 25 2014
click on pic to zoom in
Barbara Watson (left) and Chryseis Watson hide their faces as they are escorted to the Arima Magistrates' Court....
Lincoln Beckles, brother of People’s National Movement (PNM) leadership candidate, Pennelope Beckles-Robinson and three others, were yesterday granted bail at a total of $1.6 million for the possession of firearms and ammunition.
Beckles’ wife, Janice, his son, Brandon and his brother-in-law Wayne Farrell were granted $400,000 bail each to be approved by a Clerk of the Peace, or a cash alternative of $25,000. The four appeared before Senior Magistrate Indrani Cedeno at the Arima Magistrates’ Court.
The four, who were represented by Pamela Elder, SC, were among 11 persons charged for the possession of firearms and ammunition. The case was called in the First Court.
The court heard that on March 22 last, police conducted a search of the home at 12 Swift Drive, Phase 3, Malabar, Arima, where they found one pump-action shotgun, one Magnum .347 revolver, one Smith and Wesson .44 revolver and an AK-47 rifle. Twelve rounds of ammunition were also found. The charges were laid indictably and they were not called upon to plead.
Court prosecutor, Sgt Valerie Leon, then showed the court the guns, giving a description for each of them. While this was being done, Janice placed her hand on her forehead and exhaled softly.
Cedeno told Leon to show the exhibits to the defendants, and as they stood up to look at it, Elder rose and told Cedeno that they “waived our right to have sight of the exhibit”.
Elder then made an application for bail noting that the defendants had an “unblemished criminal record”.
She said Beckles, 54, was a manager at the National Flour Mills, Janice was a housewife, their son Brandon, 26, was a clerical assistant at the University of the West Indies (UWI). Elder said Brandon had a great academic record as he graduated from Fatima and later from UWI majoring in Linguistics. On 52-year-old Farrell, Elder said he was a joiner by occupation. She said, according to her information, the possession of the arms and ammunition was not actual, but constructive possession. She said in light of their unblemished record and the nature of the offences and nature of the circumstances in which it was found, she asked that the magistrate grant reasonable bail. Elder added that there were no statutory impediments that prevented the magistrate from doing so, based on the recently amended Bail Act.
Cedeno admitted the amended Bail Act brought some concern to the court because the offences for possession of firearms and ammunition and drug trafficking were not under the schedule of the Act.
Later in the day, the other seven who were charged with possession of 37 rounds of ammunition appeared before Cedeno. Wilfred Watson, Barbara Watson, Christine Watson, Chryseis Watson, Keron Watson, Jerome Trotman and Kareem Trotman were represented by Brian Nedd and Nigel Allsop.
The court heard that at 5.10 am, police searched a home at Cocrico Crescent in Phase III, Malabar for arms and ammunition. The complainant, PC Anil Andrews, found in a room on the northern side of the house a blue cellphone box with a pair of socks which contained 37 brass objects resembling ammunition. Kareem Trotman was the only one out of the seven who pleaded guilty. Allsop said Trotman, 25, was remorseful and said it would never happen again. Cedeno asked Allsop what was Trotman doing with 37 rounds of ammunition? Allsop said, Trotman told him that the ammunition did not belong to him, and he was holding it for someone else.
Trotman was granted bail with surety of $300,000 while the six others were granted $150,000. They are to reappear on April 16.
Charge: Possession of four firearms, 12 rounds of ammunition
Charge: Possession of
37 rounds of ammunition