Royden Sebastien on January 24, 2012.
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
The man accused of the 2010 armed robbery at FirstBank has indicated in the Magistrate's Court that he prefers to forego a Preliminary Inquiry and proceed with a Paper Committal which could put him before a High Court Judge at the next criminal assizes which opens next month.
Royden Sebastien of Belmont is representing himself and has not been allowed to plead to the indictable charge of robbery. When he appeared in court on Friday, September 14, he told the court that he received files from the prosecution and in relation to the DNA evidence in the case, he intends to change his position.
"I want to plead out," Sebastien told Senior Magistrate Valarie Stephens.
The crown had previously indicated that they intended to rely on the DNA results and the final report of fingerprint match to link Sebastien to the armed robbery.
Magistrate Stephens asked defense lawyer Herbert McKenzie to assist Sebastien in preparing the requisite documents. She explained to Sebastien that because the charge is indictable, he will be unable to enter a plea in the Magistrate's Court, but will get the opportunity to do so in the High Court.
The matter was set for September 26 at Prospect Reef.
Sebastien has been on remand since his first appearance on January 24.
According to the allegations, on July 26, 2010 around 10:00 am at FirstBank, Wickham's Cay, there were patrons in the bank conducting business when the Assistant Manager heard a loud noise and looked up and saw three masked men with what appeared to be rifles, instructing persons in the bank to get on the ground. Two of the men jumped over the counter and demanded cash from the tellers.
According to the prosecution, two of the men were described as medium built and the other one as 6 feet tall. The men made good their escape after taking over $31,000 from the tellers.
An alarm was set off by the Assistant Manager and police, who were on patrol in the area, responded and initial investigations were conducted. Based on the evidence, it was later discovered that around 7:00 am on the same morning when the Assistant Manager arrived at work, a grey SUV was parked in the parking lot of the bank, close to the front entrance.
The prosecution outlined that police then commenced a search for the robbers and the vehicle and later that morning, a grey Suzuki Grand Vitara, RT 1540 was found parked along McNamara Hill road. At the time, the engine was still running and one of the tires was deflated.
Officers at the scene following the robbery on Monday, July 26, 2010.
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
A black and purple mask was found in the jeep along with other items. The robbers also left a bag at the bank.
According to the evidence, at 8:30 am on the same day of the robbery, a resident in the Romney's apartment made a report that his grey four-door Suzuki jeep, RT 1540 was missing.
In July 2010 police met Sebastien and told him about the robbery and during the informal cautioned interview, he said he was not surprised that the police did not come for him on the same day of the robbery since he is always being accused of those kinds of crimes.
He also told the officer that on the day of the robbery, he got up around 8:00 am, got a ride, played basketball and then hung out outside of McKelly's.
Sebastien was arrested on July 30, 2010 in connection with the robbery, but later discharged pending further investigations.
On January 10, 2012 he was rearrested and later charged.