Ex-soldier on trial for robbing woman of $250,000
An ex-soldier turned taxi operator is now facing possible prison time after he was charged for robbing a woman of her handbag containing over $250,000, and other valuables.
Andre Richards, a 30-year-old resident of Manley Meadows, Kingston, is charged with robbery with aggravation, and will be tried on December 6, in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.
He will remain in custody until that time, as Senior Parish Judge Judith Pusey denied him bail when he appeared in court last Friday.
Prosecutors allege that on September 21, the female complainant was on her way from the Jamaica National Building Society in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, where she had just encashed a $250,000 cheque, when she noticed that a man was following her.
The man then reportedly grabbed the complainant's handbag and boarded a motorcycle, making off with the bag containing J$250,000, US$70, and a Sumsung cell phone. The complainant then reported the matter to a group of police she saw in the town shortly after, and they, along with the complainant, gave chase.
brutally beat him
The court heard that upon reaching a section of Half-Way Tree Road, the complainant spotted Richards, whom she identified to the police as the man who robbed her. He was then arrested.
However, Richard's attorney claimed that his client is not guilty and that the police brutally beat him during the arrest. The attorney further claimed Richards spent six days in the hospital from a broken rib he sustained during the police beating. The lawyer pleaded for his client's bail on these grounds.
"Because of the broken rib, he has to be using the restroom often and you know how that is when you have other cellmates. He was beaten just this week after getting into a fight with other inmates," the lawyer said.
Pusey acknowledged the lawyers claims saying, "Nobody should take the law into their own hands and beat a person next to death." However, she said it was not grounds on which to grant the accused bail.
She added, "The amount of reports we have coming out of that area (Half-Way Tree) of persons getting robbed is chilling."