Sunday, February 25, 2018

No bail for weeping mom


ON GUN CHARGE: Jamilla Stafford is escorted to the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court yesterday. —Photo: INNIS FRANCIS

Mark Fraser

MAKING reference to the shooting death of three people on Sunday, a magistrate yesterday denied bail to a couple allegedly found in a car with a gun.

Jamilla Stafford, a mother of four whose youngest child is six months old, made a tearful plea for her co-accused Ronnie Holder to be placed on bail but Magistrate Suimongal Ramsaran said, “Not a day passes that you don’t hear somebody got shot. I saw on the news last night (Sunday), three people got shot in T&T. The court has to send a message”. The two were remanded into custody.

Stafford, 26, of Vistabella, and Holder, 28, of Marabella, allegedly had a gun and a magazine under the seat of a car while in Marabella last Saturday. They pleaded not guilty to the charges laid by constable Guerra.

Stafford was also charged with using an uninsured car and failing to produce her driver’s permit when requested by a uniformed police officer. She pleaded guilty to these offences.

While she told the officers, when she was stopped, that she had forgotten her driver’s permit in a purse at home, she produced a certificate of insurance which expired last month, police prosecutor Sgt Veano Ragoo said.

Stafford told the police, “Officer, Ronnie just take the car out of the garage yesterday. I didn’t know the insurance expired.”

Stafford, who defence attorney Ainsley Lucky said she had a valid driver’s permit, was fined a total of $3,500 for these two offences. For driving without a valid certificate of insurance, she was also given the mandatory three-year disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver’s permit.

In an application for bail for Stafford on the gun charge, Lucky said his client was a baby sitter for her sister’s children. He also said that she had previous convictions.

In denying bail, the magistrate told Stafford that the use of firearms was prevalent in this country and the offence was of a serious nature. Ramsaran also told Holder, a construction worker, he will not be placed on bail because of his four previous convictions.

Both were told that they could apply to a judge for bail and were ordered to return to court on June 23.