Jurors to judge attempted murder case

| 22/01/2013

(CNS): Following a preference in recent years for defendants to elect a judge-alone trial when facing serious charges, a 21-year-old man from George Town has bucked the trend and opted for a jury trial. Justin Ramoon is facing an attempted murder charge and an alternative count of wounding with intent in connection with an incident outside Archie’s Bar on Sheddon Road last August. Ramoon, whose trial started last week, has denied trying to kill or deliberately wound Andrew Lopez and a jury of three men and four women will decide his fate.

Setting out the crown’s case against Ramoon and a motive for the crime, Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Trevor Ward said the two men had been involved in a dispute the week before the alleged stabbing after a session at Jahti’s in the heart of central George Town.

The crown said Ramoon approached Lopez and asked if he had taken a scooter away from a couple of youngsters who happened to be relatives of the defendant. Lopez maintained that he had because he had assumed the youngsters had stolen the scooter, so he put it in the bush. An altercation then occurred between the two men, and as Ramoon grabbed at his waist, Lopez said, “if you got it, use it” as Ramoon told his friend to “move that boy away before we kill him.”

The following week Lopez was by his car outside the George Town bar when he was stabbed in his back. The crown claimed that Ramoon was the perpetrator, who had asked his victim, “Where all ya mouth is now?” before continuing to stab him in his back, arm and chest. The jury heard that Ramoon had reportedly fled the scene in the direction of Sea Inn Bar.

The prosecution claims the identification of Ramoon is solid and the witness is positive that Ramoon was his assailant because he has known him for years and sees him frequently. The area was well lit and there was a close encounter and struggle.

Suffering from several stab wounds, Lopez got into his car and drove to his brother’s house before going home. He had not intended to go to the hospital until he arrived home and felt increasing pain and difficulty breathing. Once at the hospital, medical staff discovered he had a punctured lung. He attended Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital for a chest tube and remained there for several days. Lopez spoke to two police officers while at the hospital and Ramoon was arrested shortly after.

The crown said the attack was persistent and during the struggle Ramoon had restrained Lopez on purpose in order to continue stabbing him.

Ramoon denies the charges and the case continues in Grand Court One.

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