$500,000 bail for cop on 2023 murder charge

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this file photo, police and security cordon off the entrance to Courts Megastore, off Churchill Roosevelt Highway, Barataria, after two people were killed and three others injured in a police-involved shooting on December 17, 2023. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

THE police officer charged with the murder of siblings Simeon and Siniaya Lessey-Baird in the car park of Courts Megastore in San Juan in December last year has been granted bail.

PC Sidney Roberts, 34, is accused of murdering Simeon Lessey, 33, and his sister Siniaya Lessey, 35, on December 17, 2023.

He is also charged with shooting Nathan Pierre with intent.

On June 13, Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds granted Roberts $500,000 bail.

Roberts was also ordered to surrender his passport and is prohibited from using a firearm. A condition of his bail is that he has to report to the Valencia police station on Mondays and Saturdays.

Roberts is represented by attorneys Ulric Skerritt, James Caruth and Arissa Maharaj.

Although the State did not object to his bail application, prosecutor Indira Chinebas suggested bail be set at $3 million with strict conditions, including a curfew.

In their bail application, Roberts’ attorneys called on the judge to reject the $3 million bail request, pointing out their client was a police officer with a previously unblemished record.

Roberts was last assigned to the Homicide Bureau of Investigations.

They also argued that the State’s bail suggestion would only defeat his ability to access it, instead suggesting $800,000 since Roberts was the father of two young children and his wife was pregnant with their third child.

They also raised the issue of self-defence and the strength of the prosecution’s evidence, which they argued was not strong.

The judge considered the submissions before granting bail, along with the conditions.

When Roberts first appeared in court on the charges on December 28, 2023, he was remanded into custody with a sufficiency hearing set for April 26.

In a telephone interview, Kareem Baird, Siniaya Lessey-Baird’s husband, said he felt disheartened at the latest development.

“The past six months have been horrible for my family. The last enjoyable day of my life would have been December 16, 2023.”

He said the incident affected him so much he has not been able to resume work as bishop of his church.

“For the past six months, I have not been even living day by day. It is really second by second.”

He had strong sentiments about the justice system and the rights of victims.