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Jul 6, 2020

Four Men, Including a Minor, Are Arraigned for Armed Robbery at Scotiabank

The four persons accused of carrying out a brazen afternoon armed robbery at Scotiabank Belama Branch appeared in court today.  Anthony Barrow, Jason McKenzie, Leon Westby and a minor are charged jointly with robbery of thirty-four thousand dollars, aggravated assault upon Robert Parchue and Robert Sutherland and a slew of other offences. The foursome all took a not guilty plea. Today, police said that the robbery could have been a crime of opportunity. Here is News Five Duane Moody with a report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Around ten-twenty this morning, a police van pulled up to the courthouse; five men alighted the vehicle and are escorted up the steps of the building and into the holding cell. Four of them, one of which is a seventeen-year-old minor, were caught last Friday on Seashore Drive as police responded to an armed robbery at Scotiabank Belama Branch. They were all charged for the crime of robbery, aggravated assault, damage to property, two counts each of kept ammunition without a gun license and one count of possession of ammunition without a gun license.


Alejandro Cowo

Supt. Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Eastern Division

“During the weekend, police arrested and charged four male persons. The persons that were arrested and charged are Jason McKenzie, Anthony Barrow and Leon Westby; all of them were charged jointly for the crime of robbery, aggravated assault and damage to property. They were also charged jointly for possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.”


When they appeared in courtroom of Chief Magistrate Sharon Frazer, all four accused, including the minor in the presence of his father, were slapped with the charges. Bail was denied and they were remanded to the central prison in Hattieville until ­­­­­­­­­­­­­September eighth when they are to reappear in court. But was the incident a crime of opportunity?


Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“There were many persons at the bank at the time doing deposits. And the money was already with the cashier so we cannot link it exactly if it is was this person that was being targeted or was it the bank.”



“So it is not certain if it was a crime of opportunity or these persons had information that they could have acted on?”


Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“We believe it was a crime of opportunity up to this moment.”


Andrea Polanco

“Sir do you believe they may have had help from someone inside the bank?”


Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“Well so far the information that we have received has not led us to or indicated anything to us of that sort.”


Andrea Polanco

“Was it ever determined who owns the vehicle that was used and the boat?”


Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“Yes, we have tried to trace on that vehicle, however, I can tell you that the Vin number of that vehicle has been removed from all places where possible it might have been on that vehicle. So there is no trace up to now as to who that vehicle belonged to.”


Andrea Polanco

“…and no information on the boat?”


Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“Yes we know who is the owner of the boat.”


Andrea Polanco

“Is that person perhaps part of what transpired there?”


Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“No that boat did not belong to any of the person that were charged on that day.”


Andrea Polanco

“But may he have been sort of an accomplice in terms of assisting these guys with the boat?”


Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“Not up to this moment.”


Gasman Young

McKenzie and the minor were represented by Senior Counsel Hubert Elrington, while Barrow and Westby were unrepresented in court today.

A fifth person was involved in the brazen mid-afternoon crime on July second in which a customer, who was making a deposit in the bank, was robbed of almost thirty-three thousand dollars in cash and cheques. As the officers intercepted the men, there was an exchange of gunfire and Gasman Young was fatally injured. He died within hours of being shot to the neck.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“In terms of the force used by the police, I am not going to go into too much details of it, but the police were under fire by these individuals and by law, the police or any citizen, any ordinary citizen, could have responded in the like manner as the police did and would have been deemed to be justified by law. Unless the D.P.P., who is going to look at the file, were to find that the police would have used unnecessary force, which I don’t think is going to be the case.”


The four are due back in Court on September eighth.  McKenzie and the minor are represented by Senior Counsel, Hubert Elrington, while Barrow and Westby were unrepresented in Court today. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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