A police officer charged with the murder of a Wallerfield man has been granted bail by a High Court judge.
PC Anil Gooding was charged on October 4, 2021, with the murder of Yasin Abdul Richardson, also called "Ghost."
Richardson died in Arima on June 23, 2018. Around 4 am, he was killed in what police described as a shoot-out after the 22-year-old allegedly robbed a gas station.
Another man who was in a vehicle with Richardson was shot in the shoulder. Police found him hiding in the trunk of the car and he was later charged with shooting at police officers.
They claimed they chased the getaway car from D'Abadie to Tumpuna Road before they intercepted it and there was a shootout.
Gooding, 31, who had been remanded since he was charged, applied for bail in March. He is represented by attorney Ulric Skerritt.
In a ruling on Monday, Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds granted him bail of $400,000 with one or two sureties or an alternative of a cash bond by one surety of $100,000.
One of Gooding’s sureties must appear with him every time he has to appear in court. He is also expected to stay at the address he gave in Arima and must surrender all travel documents to the Arima district court. If he intends to move, he has to give the court, the police and the Director of Public Prosecutions his new address.
Gooding also has to report to the Arima police station every Monday and Saturday and have no contact with any witness in the case. He is also prohibited from holding or applying for a firearm user's licence or carrying or using a gun.
In her ruling, Ramsumair-Hinds said while she agreed there was a risk Gooding could abscond or fail to surrender to custody, that risk was insubstantial.
She also said she considered the offence with which he was charged was “certainly serious and police excesses are a growing societal concern.” However, she held any risk could be managed with certain conditions attached to bail.
“Certainly, extra-judicial killings by police officers are a topic of great significance in the human rights discourse, one that has morphed in the recent past.
“A police shooting is neither presumptively justified nor extra-judicial. In the circumstances of this particular incident, it is clear that there is a triable issue between the State and the applicant…That is for the fact-finder(s).
“The issue for me is narrow – is it likely that the applicant will abscond and not face his trial?”
Ramsumair-Hinds also pointed out there was an intervening period between the alleged incident and his arrest, during which time, Gooding was initially detained for questioning and released.
“It is of note to me, because even after being set free, it is clear that no insurmountable risk of flight arose. Not only did he enjoy his liberty until being charged more than a year later, but he was permitted to return to active duty.”
Senior prosecutor Danielle Thompson represented the State at the bail hearing.