Guyana Guardian

Former policeman charged over alleged gun threat to neigbours

A former member of the Guyana Police Force was hauled before Magistrate Alisha George at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s court on Thursday last, to answer a threatening language charge.

According to the police, a complaint was filed against their former ‘squaddie’, Romel Sawh, whom they said had made use of threatening and abusive language against his neighbours on the 15 July 2017 at Liliendall, on the East Coast of Demerara.

The incident is said to be part and parcel of an ongoing feud between the Sawh family and the Hermenstine’s, who are neighbours.

When the matter was called over, the virtual complainant Mr. James Hermenstine of Lot 323 Section A South Liliendaal, told the court that the former cop, who had also served in the army, would regularly ‘cuss-out’ and make use of threatening language against himself and his wife, Ms. Haylene Hermenstine.

He added that on the 15 July at about 4am, he was in bed when he heard the defendant repeating the same threatening and abusive act to his wife.

Amused by the time of the incident, the man said he rose from his bed and put on all four of his security lights, before venturing out to ensure that it was indeed Sawh.

At the time, he said that the man was on his back veranda when he said “James and Haylene, I am disgust with yall interfering with me mother. So I will buy a gun and shoot the two of yall and done this matter once and for all”.

The complainant added that even though the accused father had tried to restrain him, he still continued with his abusive behaviour , and further said: “yall black mother sk**t, I will shoot yall sk**t”.

Mrs. Hermenstine, who also repeated the same story when called to the witness stand, told the court that they felt afraid because of the fact that the defendant is a former police and soldier, who may very well be in a position to easily acquire a weapon and hurt them.

But when given a chance to defend himself, Mr. Sawh stated that the Hermenstine’s are bullies.

He told the court that on the day in question, he was high because he was out drinking at a Karaoke until the wee hours of the morning; – and on his way home he remembered the Hermenstine’s and the ongoing feud he had with them.

Hence, without much control over the situation, he admitted that he had probably said some ill things to them, but was certain that he did not threaten his neighbors.

However, under cross-examination by the prosecutor, Sawh admitted that because he was drunk, he probably cannot recall if he had indeed threatened the Hermenstine’s.

The accused mother, Mrs. Nandanie Sawh who was not in the country at the time of the incident later apologized in court to her neighbors for her son’s behavior.

He was subsequently found guilty of the charges and was ordered to pay a fine of $20,000 or serve 12 days imprisonment.

Additionally, he was placed on a bond to keep the peace for the next 12 months or he can face 3 weeks imprisonment, if in default.

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