Trio on phone-theft charges remanded till July 21
Three St James men, who were arrested and charged in connection with the theft of a woman's cellular phone in May, were remanded following their appearance in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday.
Ewen Doyle and Keith Forbes, of Montego Bay addresses, are charged with robbery with aggravation committed against Alexia Reid, while Christopher Wedderburn, also of Montego Bay, is charged with receiving stolen property. They were remanded until July 21, when the case will be set for mention, in preparation for going to trial.
The allegations are that on May 8, at approximately 11 p.m., Reid was walking along Barnett Street in Montego Bay when she saw two men along the roadway. One of the men, armed with a ratchet knife, approached Reid and robbed her of her handbag and her BlackBerry phone, after which the two men escaped. Reid reported the matter to the police, and Doyle and Forbes were later pointed out in an identification parade.
It is further alleged that on June 12, acting on information, the investigating officer went to the Charles Gordon Market and saw Wedderburn with a cellular phone, which was identified as Reid's. Wedderburn was subsequently arrested and charged.
On Monday, Clerk of the Court Natalie Malcolm told Presiding Magistrate Wilson Smith that the case would have to go to trial despite the prosecution's case file being incomplete.
"We need a further statement ... . Based on what the officer has said to me, we will have to proceed to trial as is, as the other statement will not be forthcoming," said Malcolm.
Attorney-at-law Carl Singh, who is representing Forbes, made an unsuccessful bail application on behalf of his client.
"There is a discrepancy with regard to the identification. He (Forbes) was taken out of the cells and a picture of him was taken," said attorney Singh. "He poses no prejudice or threat to this matter," the lawyer added.
"It is a very strong case," Smith replied before ordering that the three defendants be taken back into custody and that the matter be set for July 21.