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Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Men held over killing of taxi driver
Stabroek News
-may have also attacked Link Bar owner
Desmond Bentick

Three men are in police custody over the slaying of a William Street, Kitty taxi driver who was shot several times on Saturday morning in 'B' Field, Sophia.

Two of the three men are also said to be the ones who later that morning shot Lucius Prescott in his neck while robbing his D'Urban Street Link Bar. Police late Monday evening hauled in the trio. The men were grilled yesterday and will be put on an identification parade.

Stabroek News was told that Desmond Bentick, the taxi driver, was hired by two of the four men to be taken to Sophia. When he got there he encountered the other two men and they stuck him up and proceeded to rob him. Relatives said Bentick was found minus his shoes and a pair of diamond-studded earrings. He had no money on him and relatives are convinced that Bentick would have had money. Sources told this newspaper that based upon reports, Bentick knew his killers. According to information reaching this newspaper, Bentick was hired somewhere in the vicinity of Demico House. The source said that the gunmen might have had a motive other than robbery for killing the man, given the manner of his execution. Bentick's mother had told this newspaper that a man at the Demico taxi car park had recently threatened to kill her son. It is not clear why the threats were made. Margaret Andrews, the dead man's mother, had also hinted to this newspaper on Monday that envy might have led to his death. She however did not rule out the possibility of him being a target of bandits. The car Bentick was driving, a grey PJJ 3974, is the property of a friend. The killers, after robbing him of his earrings and other valuables, bundled him out of the vehicle and commanded him to run. It was while running they shot him several times and drove away.

Stabroek News was told yesterday that police are looking into the possibility that the same men who killed Bentick carried out the attack on the Link Bar. Bentick was killed some time after 3 am on Saturday but his body was only found around 5:30 am. Shortly after 4 am, Prescott, owner of the Link Bar and his employees were preparing to close up the business when four men, three of whom had handkerchiefs tied around their faces, entered. The bandits then ordered everyone to lie on the floor and menaced Prescott, demanding money. One of the bandits then ran through Prescott's pockets and found an ID card. The bandit then declared "he is a police, shoot he."

Prescott was shot in his neck and up to press time was still a patient at a city hospital. His relatives said that the bullet is still lodged in his neck. Eyewitnesses said the bandits after shooting Prescott stuffed their loot into a bag and robbed several patrons before escaping in a car. Bentick's car was found the next day on the West Ruimveldt front road. The vehicle was dusted for fingerprints and is currently at the East La Penitence Police Station.

Lucius Prescott

The execution of Bentick raises the question as to whether a killing squad is at work again. The last four executions have occurred on Saturday mornings. Two years ago a number of men disappeared and later turned up dead. Several of them, with past criminal convictions were tortured before taking several bullets about their bodies. Two of the four recently executed had criminal records. Devon Cambridge who was found dead with his hands bound behind his back was before the court on a charge of attempted armed robbery. Cambridge was also accused of playing a part in the February 26 slaughter of eight people at Agricola and Eccles on the East Bank of Demerara. A rival gang, mainly controlled by drug dealers was said to have carried out his execution as revenge for the Agricola massacre.

Two Saturdays ago Alvin Budhram, an ex-policeman who was also a security guard attached to the Professional Guard Service, was found dead on Garnett Street, Campbellville. Residents said they heard gunshots earlier that morning, but it is still unclear whether the man was taken to the spot and killed or was in the area. Budhram was in court for a traffic matter in Essequibo. One hour later, George Anthony called `Goat Man' of Tiger Bay was executed in Jamoon Drive Meadowbrook. His body was fished out of a trench four hours later. An eyewitness had told this newspaper that gunshots rang out in the area around 4 am on Saturday. The eyewitness said when he looked out of his window he saw three men dragging Anthony's body towards the koker in Jamoon Drive. The witness said that when the three men reached the koker they started to beat Anthony with what looked like a crowbar.

From all indications, Anthony was beaten in the face and his head and then kicked overboard. His killers escaped in a car. Anthony, according to a source, was into 'bad business' although it is not clear whether he had any criminal convictions.