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…writes DPP in hope that statements from witnesses clear Henry of murder
By Svetlana Marshall
Two police officers are among persons who saw Gladston Henry Jnr at his West Coast Berbice home on the morning that 17-year-old Haresh Singh was killed in the backdam of Number Three Village, West Coast Berbice, Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes has said.
He also told a news conference that the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack has been written to on the matter with the hope that Henry would be cleared of the murder charge.
Gladston Henry Jnr – brother of Isaiah Henry who was brutally murdered along with his cousin Joel Henry in September, 2020 – is among four men accused of murdering Singh on September 9, 2020.
Speaking at a press conference at the Daphne Rogers Building in the capital city, Georgetown, Hughes said the Guyana Police Force has wrongfully instituted charges against Gladston Henry, and there are more than 10 persons, including police officers, who can attest to him being at home when Singh was murdered at another location.
He explained that Gladston Henry Jnr.; his mother Patricia Henry; and other relatives were at their No. 3 Village, West Coast Berbice home watching a live recording of the post mortem that was being conducted on the bodies of Isaiah and Joel Henry at the Le Repentir Funeral Home and Crematorium.
He said that during the course of that morning (September 9, 2020), two police officers visited the home of the Henry’s to speak with Patricia Henry. “At the time those two police officers came to the home of Patricia Henry; Gladston Henry was right there. Now, Haresh Singh was murdered between 9:30hrs and 10:00hrs about 100 yards away from where he lived on the way to the Backdam. So, at the time Haresh Singh was murdered between 9:30 and 10:00am on the 9th September, exactly the same time, these persons here were gathered at Patricia Henry’s home including Gladston Henry,” Hughes told journalists.
He identified one of the two officers as Police Detective [Rodwell] Sarabo.
Hughes said despite providing the police with 10 statements from witnesses confirming Gladston Henry Jnr alibi, they nonetheless proceeded to charge him on June 29. “During the course of that evening, I emailed the Director of Public Prosecution indicating my very serious fears and reservations about the conduct of the investigation and expressing my firm view that miscarriage of justice was occasioned by the institution of these charges against Mr. Henry,” Hughes said.
Providing a chronology of the events that took place leading up to the arrest of Gladston Henry Jnr., Hughes said approximately two-three weeks ago, Patricia Henry – mother of both Isaiah and Gladston Henry – was very critical of the Guyana Police Force and its investigation into the murder of her son, during on an online programme hosted by US-based Guyanese Rickford Burke.
He said days after Patrica Henry openly criticized the Force, ranks picked up three young men from within the village, and later issued a Wanted Bulletin for Gladston Henry Jnr. Hughes said last Saturday (June 26), Gladston Henry Jnr., in the presence of his parents, confirmed that he was at home on morning of September 9, 2021.
Gladston Henry Jnr., in the presence of his attorney, turned himself into the police on the afternoon of June 26 and was arrested on arrival. Later that day, the police, in the presence of Hughes, put several questions to the young man, however, in keeping with the advice of his lawyer, he expressed his right to remain silent.
He said it was at that point that he informed the police that there were several witnesses who were prepared to provide statements about the whereabouts of Gladston Henry Jnr on the day that Singh was murdered.
“Mr. Da Silva specifically said to me that he would have to get instructions from his superiors before he can tell me whether or not the police can receive these statements,” Hughes said. On Sunday, June 27, 2021, the police during a recorded interview, presented Gladston Henry Jnr with a statement signed to by Philip Anderson, which implicated both men in the murder of Singh.
Hughes said that day, he reminded the police that he has several witnesses who can confirmed Gladston Henry Jnr’s alibi but the police, at the time, indicated that they were awaiting instructions from their superior. Hughes was later advised that he should take the statements from the witnesses and submit them on the police. He complied and on Monday, June 28, 2020 the statements were submitted to the police, however, the police went ‘silent.’
“We heard absolutely nothing from them. Several of our lawyers attempted to contact them and there was no response through any of those calls. We heard, purely by accident, that the police officers had travelled to West Coast Berbice while Mr. Henry and the other three persons who were in Georgetown, and had filed murder charges against Gladston Henry [Jnr] for the murder of Haresh Singh,” he recalled.
Gladston Henry Jnr, along with 29-year-old Philip Anderson called ‘Ratman’ of Lot 25 # 3 Village, West Coast Berbice; 27-year-old Joel Gittins called ‘Bolo’ of Jangotown, East Coast Demerara; and 21-year-old Charles Scott called ‘Bucko’ of Lot 29 Jarvis Street Rosignol, Berbice, was charged on June 29, 2021 with the murder of Singh.
He said it was on that basis that he wrote the DDP. He is currently awaiting a response.
Patricia Henry and Gladston Henry – parents of Isaiah and Joel Henry – were among relatives who were present during the press conference.