Two young men are now on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison, having been charged for burglarizing a shop in Sandy Bay – one of the villages in the north of the country which has been evacuated because of the erupting La Soufriere Volcano.
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne remanded Shemmar Baptiste and Raphael Lavia when they appeared before the Serious Offences Court yesterday.
Baptiste and Lavia are charged that on April 9, 2021 at London, Sandy Bay, he entered the liquor and provision shop of Calvert John as trespassers and stole two boxes of Bambu paper valued $400, four bottles of Campari valued $180, six bottles of Sunset Strong Rum valued $150, two bottles of Fireball Whisky valued $120, two bottles of Malibu valued $70, three bottles of Hennessy valued $165, two cartons of Pall Mall cigarettes valued $67, here tins of Salami valued $69, and two rings valued $320; total value$1,542 and $200 in cash.
Lavia and Baptiste pleaded not guilty to the charges.
On the question of bail, Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche said that according to information, “while the volcano was erupting, these men were prowling.” He said there have been a series of burglary and theft in Sandy Bay, Owia and Overland and other villages which police investigating.
Delpesche said Lavia and Baptiste were persons of interest to the police in relation to the crimes committed.
The Senior Prosecutor said the accused men “took the opportunity” that while residents were “moving out” in compliance with the evacuation order, the accused “moved in.”
“Wicked, wicked, wicked you all are,” the Senior Prosecutor said.
He added: “Allegations they are, but let them come.”
The Senior Prosecutor objected to bail, asking that the accused men be remanded into custody while the dust settles and police continue their investigations and recover properties. He said not only must society be safe from an erupting La Soufriere Volcano but also from offenders like Lavia and Baptiste.
“Bail not considered at this juncture,” Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne told the two defendants.
The two defendants are scheduled to return to court on May 3, 2021, when it is expected that their bail application will be reviewed.