THURSDAY, JUNE 14: Three bikes sped from Pembroke to Somerset doing speeds of 105 to 110 kilometres an hour, a court heard today.
Crown counsel Garret Byrne read witness statements this morning in the trial of Gariko Benjamin.
Mr Benjamin, 20, is accused of possession of a gun, firing the gun, taking a bike without consent of the owner and threatening police officers, all on January 25 this year. He denies the charges.
Witnesses described for the jury seeing a man dressed in dark clothes and a full-face visor arrive at Mount Hill, fire shots then speed towards the west end of the island.
William Sousa was working at a property on Between the Walls, Pembroke, with contractor Gary Benjamin and the contractor’s two sons. Mr Sousa said the sons left the job at 10:30am on a dark bike.
Manual Madeiros was also working in the area when he saw “Gariko” and his brother, whose name he didn’t know, leave at 10:30am on a bike.
In her statement, witness Kaori Richardson said she dropped her boyfriend Brian Batson at his friend’s house that morning on Mount Hill when she saw a bike ride from behind her car.
She said the passenger jumped off the bike and the rider continued then turned around.
Ms Richardson described the passenger as a skinny black male wearing all black.
She said: “He ran towards Brian and his friends.
“I didn’t see where they went.
“Two seconds later, I heard a pop sound and thought it couldn’t be a gunshot.
“Then I saw the passenger pulling a scrambler from the steps were the boys sitting.”
She said the man on the bike then rode away heading east.
In a police statement, James Rego said he was driving on Tee Street when he heard a “scrambler” in traffic.
He continued: “I saw the scrambler travelling east and turn into Tee Street followed by a black bike.
“He did a pop-a-wheelie and was wearing a long-sleeved top and a black helmet.
“I had him in my view for three to four seconds but I couldn’t be able to recognize him.
Another witness, who was driving along Middle Road in Southampton, said: “I saw three bikes coming at me at high speed, a blue motocross bike and two dark bikes.
“They all had on dark coats and dark pants.
“The driver of the motorbike seemed to be tall and thin.”
Shirle Crockwell described seeing three bikes in Southampton travelling at “high speed”. She said the third bike was a “scrambler”.
And Michelle Simons described three bikes speeding past her in Southampton “so fast” that she had to pull her car over.
PC Lewis said he was on duty in Somerset when he responded to the incident.
The officer said: “We saw a blue scrambler travelling west.
“The rider was slim.
“We gave chase.
“I saw the rider stationary at the top of the incline.
“He motioned for us to follow him.
“I saw the rider then push his hand into his waist area.
“I was scared for my safety, I was under the impression that he had a gun.”
PC Simons is a qualified speed laser operator and saw three bikes travelling in single file heading west in Somerset. He said they were travelling at 105 to 110 km/h.
“I activated emergency equipment and tried to give chase.”
PC Simons was unable to catch the bikes.
Mr Benjamin is represented by lawyer Charles Richardson.
The trial continues.