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Saturday 18 November 2017
Crime and Court

State on 31-yr case: We will ensure justice is done

LONG WAIT: Eddie Williams, 60, fined $4,500 yesterday for two counts of robberies committed in 1986. PHOTO BY AZARD ALI

Time is no barrier in determining whether the State should or not prosecute criminals, even if 31 years have passed as in the case of a Rio Claro man who, on Monday, was fined by a High Court judge for a robbery he committed in 1986.

Once a crime has been committed the State would strive to ensure justice is done, said senior State prosecutor Sarah De Silva. She told Newsday the State holds no regrets for having prosecuted 61-year-old Eddy Williams for robbing a soft drink salesman and a parlour proprietor of $100 and $369.60 respectively, after 31 years had elapsed.

Williams was 29 years old when he robbed 26-year-old salesman Harry Lallo Birbal. The proprietor, Adina Johnson, was 54 years old.

Police arrested Williams and he confessed to committing the crime. He was committed to stand trial but fled to the United States where he stayed for 28 years. He returned in 2014 and turned himself in at the Rio Claro Police Station and spent nine months on Remand awaiting trial. In the meantime, the State tried to locate Birbal and Johnson but to no avail.

The prosecution therefore, had no victims to convince a jury of Williams’ guilt. He pleaded guilty on Friday and was fined $4,500 to cover both charges.

An attorney in private practice commented that in any criminal jurisdiction, it must be a case of “time longer than twine” for anyone charged with a criminal offence.

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