Sixty-eight-year-old Jones Raymond, who was on Friday last freed of a murder charge after spending almost 10 years behind bars, recalled the horrifying experience while being in the correctional facility.
Raymond, of Micobie Village, Region Eight, was remanded to prison on December 28, 2012, for the murder of Gary Joseph, which had occurred between December 26 and December 27, 2012.
On Monday, a tearful Raymond recounted to reporters of being shot and even poisoned while at the Camp Street Prison.
“I get poison, I get shoot, but my father is good. He is good to me today. I pray every day and night. The food wasn’t nice. Eating slush, drinking tea without sugar. I cannot take it anymore. I am happy to be here today,” the former murder accused said.
In fact, he recalled receiving death threats but said that he is feeling much better that he is back in society. However, the weeping man said that the future looks bleak as he would have lost everything while incarcerated.
“I lose everything. My house, my boat – everything I lose, I get myself. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go and how long I will live with my daughter,” the 68-year-old man questioned.
The aggravated man said that he could not see and hear well, which is compounded by constantly high blood pressure. He attributed these health conditions to being behind bars.
Notwithstanding, he said he is doing some “preaching work” and reading the gospel in a bid to get his life back on track.
WRONG NAME WHILE IN PRISON
According to Raymond, prison authorities had his name as “Raymond Jones” when it should have been “Jones Raymond.”
“I told the OC it would cause problem, and they said no. Your name is backward; I don’t know how my name could be backward,” he asked.
Justice Sandil Kissoon had explained that following a Preliminary Inquiry (PI), the 68-year-old man was committed to stand trial on October 15, 2014, at the Essequibo High Court.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had received the depositions from that PI on March 23, 2015, but had remitted the case to the Magistrate’s Court for the presiding Magistrate to correct “several material irregularities and/or omissions” on the part of the Magistrate.
The High Court Judge said that even after seven years, the Magistrate is yet to comply with the DPP’s directive.
JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED
The former murder accused Attorney-at-Law Teriq Mohammed said that his feelings mirror that of Justice Kissoon.
“In this specific case, Mr. Jones, it was more specific in the sense that I believe if this matter didn’t come up at all, he would have been in jail, languish away because he is a man of Amerindian descent, and I feel like they don’t have the representation they truly need,” Mohammed noted.
Moreover, he said that if he had not picked up the case, he believes that his client would have still been behind bars.
“Mind you, he was committed to stand trial, and he has been there for 10 years. The only thing I can sum it up is justice delay, justice denied – that is the way you can say it,” the Attorney posited.
To this end, Mohammed said that he is in conversation with his client and is currently looking at suing the State.
In handing down her ruling, Justice Kissoon said that the time the accused spent on remand would add up to 10 calendar years, equating to 15 prison years.
In light of this, Justice Kissoon noted that “a grave tragedy, the unthinkable, has occurred in relation to Jones Raymond without compassion, conscious, and judicial discretion.”
Media reports are that Joseph and several friends were imbibing at a shop on Boxing Day of December 2012 when Raymond inquired from him about what he had done to his son.
It was reported that Raymond armed himself with an arrow and bow, which he used to shoot Joseph. The weapon struck the man in his abdomen.
The injured man was rushed to the Mahdia Hospital and then transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he died while receiving treatment.