Trial of 4 accused in 2016 attempted robbery on Republic Bank winding down

The trial of four men accused of staging a botched robbery at Republic Bank’s Water Street, Georgetown branch is winding down after five years. The Prosecution has closed its case. Lawyers for the four accused will lay over no-case submissions on February 25, 2021.

Those charged for the botched robbery are former police constable Anfernee Blackman, 26, of Laing Avenue, West Ruimveldt, Georgetown; former Republic Bank employee, Shawn Grimmond of Pike Street, Kitty, Georgetown; Rural Constable Gladston George, 28, of Princes Street, Lodge, Georgetown; and Keron Saunders, 28, of Burnham Boulevard, Mocha, East Bank Demerara.

The men all denied the charge which stated that on July 4, 2016, while being armed with guns, they attempted to rob Republic Bank’s Water Street, Georgetown branch. They are currently out on $500,000 bail each pending the hearing and determination of the trial.

The attempted robbery left 25-year-old Agronomist, Elton Wray dead. Wray was killed during an exchange of gunfire between his alleged accomplices, police, and guards attached to the Professional Guard Service who were stationed at the bank.

According to reports, the men had planned on getting their hands on the night’s deposits, since it was a three-day weekend and companies would have deposited millions of dollars in cash into the bank.

When the matter was first called in 2016, the court heard that Jamal Haynes, a Republic Bank employee at the time, and Saunders implicated the others in the botched robbery and outlined the roles each of them played.

It was reported that Constable Blackman supplied Haynes, Saunders, and Wray with the guns. Blackman transported the men to the location in his motor car. Haynes was said to have visited Grimmond’s home days before giving him a cellular phone to contact him and the others.

Haynes pleaded guilty to the charges of attempted robbery under-arms, illegal firearm and ammunition possession, and unlawful restraining on his first court appearance back in 2016. He was sentenced to a total of six years’ imprisonment by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.