A magistrate asked a 15-year-old boy today charged with robbery on Monday, "Where is your mother?"
The Form 4 student of a secondary school in San Fernando yesterday appeared along with an 18-year-old youth, following their arrest by police for committing a robbery at Addre Gourmet Design, La Romaine. When the boy and Joseph Ramkelawan stood before senior magistrate Cherril-Ann Antoine in the San Fernando Magistrates' court, she asked if his mother and father were present in court.
But attorney Indira Binda told Antoine, "The mother abandoned him when he was small. He has no parents. Your Worship, his father relinquished responsibility for him. He has been placed in the custody of his grandparents."
The boy, sitting next to Ramkelawan, of La Romaine, bent his head in the dock. Antoine asked him to lift it so she could see him. The names of his parents, and his grandparents, were called on the corridors of the court by police but there were no response.
Antoine read the charge to the two that on Monday, while armed with knives, robbed Adrian Thomas at Addre Gourmet Design, and immediately before or after, used personal violence. Court prosecutor Cleyon Seedan said that he had no instructions on whether to proceed summarily. He, however, told Antoine that while Ramkelawan had no previous convictions, the 15-year-old boy was charged in August with assault and intent to rob. In fact, he had been on bail with conditions when he was charged with Monday's incident.
Seedan further said that he also faced a charged for possession of marijuana, but was discharged by the magistrate.
She granted Ramkelawan $100,000 bail and remanded the boy to the Boys Industrial School in Diego Martin. They are to reappear on September 26.