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Oct 1, 2018

British National Arraigned for Attempted Kidnapping in Belmopan

Roger Wallis

A British national was arraigned this morning in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court for an alleged kidnapping. He is sixty-three-year-old Roger Wallis, a well-known businessman in the community, who drives a white van. Last week, three siblings alleged that a perp attempted to kidnap them. They claimed that they fought him off when he tried to force their eight-year old brother into a van.  Now, the van has been the subject of speculation because it was quite visible in the September celebrations and allegations of attempted kidnappings countrywide have been linked to a white van. Belmopan police are expressing confidence that they have the right man. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Just after nine o’clock this morning, British national Roger Wallis was hauled before the Belmopan Magistrate Court and arraigned for two counts of attempted kidnapping. The sixty-three-year-old businessman is accused of trying to abduct an eight-year-old boy last week on George Price Avenue in the outskirts of Belmopan. Because the charge is indictable, no bail was offered and Wallace was remanded until December third.

 

Hurl Hamilton

Hurl Hamilton, Attorney-at-law

“Mister Wallace has been charged with two counts of kidnapping. He has been remanded to the Hattieville Prison. As you may know the Magistrate cannot grant bail for an offense like that; her hands are tied so we’ll have to apply to the Supreme Court for bail.”

 

According to the children, as they were walking home last Wednesday, a Caucasian man in a white van drove up and offered them a ride. They refused and moments later, he attempted to pull the youngest of the siblings into the van, but they were able to fight him off and escaped. The recorded statement led police to the businessman, who was prominent in the September parades in Belmopan. Wallis provides special effects for sci-fi dance parties. On Friday, he was detained and his van impounded at the station after the minors gave a description of the vehicle and the alleged perp.

 

Henry Jemmott

Supt. Henry Jemmott, O.C., Belmopan Police Formation [File: September 28th, 2018]

“Sometime yesterday we recorded statements from the children and also the parent that was involved in an attempt kidnapping, which occurred here in Belmopan. With the assistance of the public and rapid response from the investigators, we have the person that we think is the person, positively, I think that is the person that committed that offense. At this moment, the investigation is in its early stage, but I could tell you that it looks very positive. And rest assured the community that we will try our best to have this person remanded to the Hattieville prison because we want that the children of Belmopan are free and can move around calmly.”

 

News Five has been told that the minors positively identified the suspect during an identification parade last Friday; thereafter police levied charges against the businessman. But the minors’ account of events aside, Attorney-at-law Hurl Hamilton says that he will await the details of the case to determine whether due process was carried out by the police. An application for bail, nevertheless, will be filed this Friday.

 

Hurl Hamilton

“We haven’t gotten disclosure from the police as yet. So I don’t know what the police may or may not have against my client. Suffice to say he’s innocent until proven guilty; that is afforded by the Constitution of Belize and we take it from there. As we speak, the bail application is in process and on Friday, hopefully, I can get the application in and we’ll be making a petition before the high court, yes. But let me just add that on Friday, an ID parade was carried out. Certain things were said and certain things were on the media before Mister Wallace got charged. I will say at this point that I believe, I am sure, that that ID parade was flawed. The procedure was flawed and it was prejudicial to my client. But when we reach at the appropriate stage, I am going to deal with that matter.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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