Court to hear lawsuit of ex-suspect in PC Gilkes killing in July

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Justice Carol Gobin –

IN JULY, a High Court judge will hear the two lawsuits filed by Jehlano Romney alleging the police are targeting him.

Romney was released on Sunday morning on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The police had been questioning him in their investigation of the murder of PC Clarence Gilkes.

Gilkes, 44, was shot while working with other members of the Western Division Task Force on April 22, at Rich Plain, Diego Martin.

Gilkes’s colleagues claimed he was shot by gunmen in the area and launched a manhunt for Romney, who they said was the main suspect.

The day after the killing, as police combed the hills of Rich Plain, Romney’s mother told the media her son was being targeted because he had filed a lawsuit against the police for harassment.

Romney turned himself in last week Thursday in the wee hours of the morning after an autopsy concluded Gilkes was shot in the neck from behind.

Five days after his release from police custody, Romney’s false imprisonment lawsuits havebeen listed for hearing before a High Court judge.

However, they were rescheduled by Justice Carol Gobin, as the parties asked for more time to file witness statements.

The matters will now be heard on July 14 by virtual hearing, the media were told.

In his lawsuit, Romney claimed on February 14, 2020, while reporting to the Four Roads police station, as a condition of his bail for a charge of possession and ammunition, he was put in a cell because the police wanted to interview him.

Despite pleading with them to let him go, and saying he would return to the station for the interview, Romney claimed he was kept in the cell and only released three days later after being interviewed about a missing person, without a charge being laid against him.

In the other matter, Romney said on February 17, 2020, the day after he was released, heavily armed police stopped and searched him in Diamond Vale. They did not find anything illegal, but Romney said he was arrested and taken to the West End police station for questioning about a shooting in Diego Martin.

He was also put in a cell at that police station, and said he was released on February 18 without being interviewed. His lawsuit said he repeatedly told the police he was not involved in any shooting.

His lawsuits contend the police had no reasonable or probable cause to arrest him and he was traumatised by the entire ordeal.

He is represented by attorneys Criston J Williams, Jerome Riley and Celeste St Louis.