April 29, 2005

Grenadians on remand

Up to last Monday 25, this country’s jail population stood at 390. That number included nine females housed at the old Fort Charlotte on the historic site to the north western end of Kingstown.

The other 381 males are all being housed at Her Majesty’s Prisons in the heart of the city. A high number, 81 are on remand or waiting trial. Among those include nine escapees from Grenada’s Richmond Hill jail. Most of them surfaced here in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, which destroyed that nation September 7, 2004. {{more}}

Their presence here has not been without concern as they have added to the demands placed on the local constabulary.

Elvon Barry and Lindon Lambert were the first Grenadian escapees to be arrested here after they were nabbed following a gas station robbery in which EC$1,000, US$800, and $15,000 worth of phone cards were stolen.

Quick use of the phone cards by the thieves led police to arrest Barry in Questelles, just four miles north west of Kingstown. Lambert was also nabbed in that raid. He carried a nine-millimeter pistol and eight rounds of ammunition.

Later that week, quick action by an alert Special Services Unit (SSU) officer led to the capture of Aldin Phillips and Rudolph Hall in Layou. Both men had been serving sentences for murder in Grenada.

Alleyne Bowen, Leslie Victory, and William Cruickshank were held in subsequent Police action, as well as Vincentian Kent Adams.

But perhaps the most notorious Grenadian fugitive held here is Sheldon ‘Dutch’ Bain. He was shot in mysterious circumstances in an incident at Redemption Shapes February 11, 2005 and later identified himself to the police at the Milton Cato Hospital. Bain sought protection reportedly from someone whom he said wanted to “finish him off”.

In a interesting development, Selwyn ‘Thick Skin’ Moses, a 26 year old man who was on this country’s most wanted list died in hail of police gunfire on Thursday, February 18, 2005.

Vincentian police had expressed interest in Bain as a suspect into a double murder of a couple at Trigger Ridge, Redemption Sharpes, Kingstown on December 10, 2004.

Bain was believed to have been part of an underworld group involved in a series of crimes. It is also believed that Thick Skin and Bain may have been on the run together until Bain was apprehended.

However, the Grenadian fugitives in custody may remain at the Vincentian penitentiary for some time yet. Senior Prison Officer Brenton Charles disclosed that the escapees may have to be in the Vincentian jail until normalcy is returned to the Correctional Centre at Richmond Hill on the Spice Isle.