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Coast Guard officer on bail

Heather-Lyn Evanson

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AFTER ALMOST THREE months on remand, a Coast Guard officer accused of stealing a gun from the armoury was released on bail when he appeared in the Bridgetown Traffic Court yesterday.Tyrell Burke, 21, is now on a dusk to dawn curfew, a weekend-long curfew and must report to Black Rock Police Station as part of his bail.The sailor of Fairfield Road, Black Rock, St Michael, was not required to plead to stealing an M-16 automatic rifle belonging to the Crown.His attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens, who made an impassioned plea for bail, said it was a theft charge “on the face of it” and the subject matter was immaterial.She further argued Burke had spent “an inordinate amount of time” on remand “for an allegation” when “he is a fit and proper candidate for bail”.“It would appear he might be serving a sentence on remand for an allegation,” she charged.“He has no previous convictions; there is no fear he will interfere with witnesses and he is a young boy. The fact  that the complainant happens to be the Crown is not sufficient.“An accused who is charged with theft of two firearms from the Barbados Police Force is on bail; people charged with manslaughter,  where a life has been lost, are on bail; people who have been charged with stealing a million dollars from the Central Bank  are on bail,” Mitchell-Gittens stressed.In the end, Magistrate Christopher Birch released Burke with a surety  of $4 000. He returns to court on August 4.