Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Rameish Simpson, cousin offered bail

Published:Friday | January 8, 2016 | 1:00 AMShanna Kaye Monteith
Rameish Simpson (right) and Richard Simpson sit in a police vehicle. They were arrested shortly after evading a police check point and driving into the sea in Grants Pen, St Thomas, on December 17.

Rameish Simpson, the Jamaica Labour Party activist who has been charged with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition, has been offered bail in the sum of $3 million.

His cousin, Richard Simpson, has been offered bail in the sum of $1 million.

Resident Magistrate Calise Wiltshire, in granting bail, said claims from the prosecution that Rameish was part of a criminal gang in St Thomas is not enough reason not to grant bail.

The magistrate imposed restrictions on their movements, stating that they should not leave their residences between 6 p.m and 6 a.m. They are also to report to the Yallahs Police Station every day between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and have been ordered to surrender their travel documents. A stop order has been placed on them.

The men were arrested late last year after the police said they removed a firearm and ammunition from a van which Rameish, in seeking to elude the police, drove into the sea.

The items were allegedly fished from the sea following what the police described as a high-speed chase, which ended with Rameish driving his vehicle into the sea in the vicinity of Grants Pen, St Thomas.

 

COUNTERED POLICE CLAIMS

 

Hensley Williams, the defence attorney, argued that his client did not try to elude the police, but that his brakes had malfunctioned, which resulted in him driving into the sea.

During his bail application, Williams argued that there is no evidence to prove the prosecution's theory.

"It seems the police are trying to put across that my client outdrove them and threw the knapsack or bag in the sea. My question is: where is the evidentiary material to support this theory?" he said in court.

He claimed that the men were not allowed to witness the Jamaica Defence Force divers retrieve the bag, which allegedly contained the weapon and ammunition, from the sea.

He said, too, that the items in the bag were not shown to the suspects by the seaside, and that some three hours had elapsed before the suspects were shown the contents of the bag.

Williams said, too, that the police want Rameish Simpson out of the parish and appear prepared to do it by whatever means possible.

Both men are scheduled to return to court on March 16.