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Romando Russian Andrews

One of the accused burglars, Romando “Russian” Andrews, in a 2020 photo.

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Magistrate Bertie Pompey has denied bail to two accused burglars despite the strong advocacy of their lawyer, Michael Wyllie.

Prosecutor Corporal Delando Charles had argued at the Colonarie Magistrate’s Court, sitting in Georgetown, on Thursday, that the men be remanded in custody as police investigate a series of burglaries.

Joelanie James, of South Rivers, and Romando “Russian” Andrews, of Clare Valley, pleaded not guilty to a charge that on April 7, at Belle Vue, they entered the dwelling house of Alicia Samuel, of Belle Vue, as trespassers and stole one 32-inch flat screen Premier television, valued at EC$1,700; one black LG DVD home theatre system, valued at EC$1,300; one black Pyle Pro Wireless BT Streaming PA Speaker, valued at EC$1,100, total value EC$4,100, Samuel’s property.

The prosecutor asked the court to remand the men into custody, saying he was of the view that if granted bail, the defendants would interfere with the witnesses and obstruct the course of justice.

He said the duo are allegedly involved in three similar matters in the district and asked that they be remanded for about two weeks until the investigation is complete, adding that they were “persons of interest” in those other matters.

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However, Wyllie said that the police must be able to show on what basis his clients would interfere with the investigations.

He said police always object to bail on the assumption that the accused is guilty.

The lawyer said that to detain a suspect based on the basis that “you believe” is saying that you believe that the person is guilty of committing the offence.

Wyllie said the men should be granted bail on the grounds that they are innocent until proven guilty.

He said the court could grant bail and attach conditions so that the accused can be arrested if they do not abide by them.

The lawyer told the court he thought it “a bit unfair” to keep the men in custody based on what the prosecutor said.

The magistrate, however, adjourned the matter to this Thursday, April 20, for bail review.

James had earlier appeared in court on three charges.

Charles withdrew the threatening language charge. However, the court will hear on May 18, charges of destruction to property and offensive weapon against James.