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Man admits forcing victim to hand over $1,000

A repeat offender yesterday admitted strong-arming a Devonshire man out of $1,000.

Jamel Fray, 39, told the court he was innocent but reversed his plea after he was told he would be locked up until his trial.

The court heard that the complainant arrived at his Devon Springs Road home around 3.45pm on December 31.

Fray, who lives in St George’s, was waiting on the sidewalk outside his house.

Fray grabbed him by his arm and demanded money. The complainant initially told Fray that he didn’t have any money, but Fray tightened his grip.

He gave Fray $2 from his wallet, but Fray pressured the complainant to get him more.

The complainant eventually said he could get Fray $200, at which point Fray became irate and asked for $1,000.

“Listen, if you don’t give me the money I will stab you,” he said.

The complainant drove Fray to an ATM machine at Collector’s Hill and withdrew $1,000. They then drove back to Devon Springs Road, where the complainant contacted police.

Fray was arrested in St George’s on January 17.

The court heard that he had previously threatened and bullied the complainant, and had a long list of previous offences including robbery, violently resisting arrest and causing wilful damage.

Fray was sentenced to five-and-a-half years for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in 2008. He was released in October.

He initially denied the most recent offence in Magistrates’ Court yesterday, saying that the complainant had agreed to loan him the money.

He also denied having bullied the complainant, saying he had borrowed money from him in the past and had no idea why he was now being accused of robbery.

“I have my own apartment, I’m trying to get my son back in my life. I have a job. Why would I do something stupid and go back to jail?,” he questioned.

“Before I was on drugs. Now I’m not on drugs. I don’t do heroin or cocaine anymore and I’m proud of that. It looks bad, but I am at a point of my life where I’m doing good.”

Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner set a trial date and remanded Fray into custody, noting the serious nature of the offence and the defendant’s criminal history.

Fray then asked to reverse his plea to guilty.

Mr Warner ordered a social inquiry report be carried out on Fray and remanded him into custody until next month for sentencing.

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Published January 22, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated January 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm)

Man admits forcing victim to hand over $1,000

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