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Man freed of 24-year-old robbery charge
A businessman accused of a robbery more than 24 years ago has been acquitted by a nine-member jury. The jury, which sat in the Port-of-Spain Fourth Assizes, took an hour to return with a unanimous not guilty verdict in favour of 42-year-old Ellis Briggs of Westmoorings.
Briggs, now a film consultant, was on trial before Justice Geoffrey Henderson for robbery with aggravation stemming from an alleged late night robbery which occurred when he was 18-years-old. He was accused of robbing Keith Murray of a gold ring and $25 while he (Murray) was waiting on Duke Street in Port-of-Spain for a taxi. The incident was said to have happened on June 19, 1988.
In his defence, Briggs’ attorney Christon J Williams told the jury Murray fabricated the robbery. Murray, who has migrated to the United States, was unable to testify during the short trial. State prosecutor Brent Winter claimed the unusually lengthy delay for the trial was because Briggs could not be located by police in the past.
Williams disagreed with Winter’s explanation, stating that the police were not diligent in their attempts to find Briggs at the address he gave to the court. Williams said he (Briggs) had moved several times since his last court appearance in 1992, with his family remaining at his original address in Malik, Barataria.
He further questioned Winter’s excuse, stating police officers were able to easily locate Briggs’ family at the same address before the trial this year. Briggs was also represented by attorney Naveen Maraj.
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