A Barataria craftsman charged for robbery with violence claimed yesterday he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Kenyata James, 33, of First Street, Barataria, swore to Magistrate Nalini Singh in the Port-of-Spain Eleventh Court that he was being made to pay for a crime he did not commit, because of his "situation."
James is hearing-impaired and is barely literate.
The court had heard that the victim's little finger on his right hand had to be amputated and he suffered lacerations and bruises to his neck and lower back during the incident.
Although the charge was shown to him yesterday by Sgt Greer Lawrence-Britton, James was unable to understand little more than his name on the case sheet.
The charge is that on December 26 at Redman Lane, Don Miguel Road, San Juan, James and another man robbed Kerron Sooknanan, 17, of a silver chain valued at $2,000.
James was not called to enter a plea, and minutes after Sgt Azad Ali requested time to secure a sign-language coach to assist James during his next appearance, the matter was adjourned to January 3.
As Sooknanan stood in court to allow the magistrate to view the extent of the injuries suffered during the robbery, James pointed to him and said in a loud voice: "I swear to almighty God that I never did anything to that boy. It was somebody else and I see everything that happened but because of my situation, I am being blamed and does get into a lot of trouble."
James claimed he had gone to visit a friend to celebrate the birth of the friend's baby and had witnessed the incident, but the real suspect had escaped.
Ali asked that the matter be adjourned to allow the justice of the peace some time to secure a sign language teacher from Dretchi to assist James during his next appearance.
James produced a medical report for Singh, revealing that he was due to return to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital for treatment later this week.
Assuring James that the court would put provisions in place for him, Singh slowly explained to James that after viewing his criminal tracing-which was three pages long and boasted two convictions and 15 pending matters-she was unable to grant him bail.
James told the court he was willing to assist the police to catch the real culprit, as he knew him from "seeing him around."