Wednesday 20 November, 2019

JUTC driver charged with killing taxi operator, granted bail

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus driver who was charged with the murder of a taxi operator last month, has been granted bail.

The accused, 37-year-old Oral Clarke, appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Wednesday, and was offered bail at $600,000.

The case against him will next be mentioned on November 22.

Clarke was charged with murder on October 6 after spending some time in police custody.

The taxi driver, 37-year-old Akeeno Britton, alias ‘Bubinile’, of Ambrook Lane in St Andrew, succumbed to stab wounds he suffered during an altercation, allegedly with Clarke, on Monday, September 23.

The police reported that about 6.45 pm, Britton was driving a Toyota Isis motorcar along Washington Boulevard in St Andrew, when he allegedly got into an altercation with the driver of a JUTC bus.

The situation reportedly escalated and, according to the police, a knife was brought into play, and Britton was stabbed several times.

He was assisted to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Clarke subsequently turned himself in to the law after being requested to do so by the police.

It was initially theorised that the shooting death of a JUTC employee later that Monday night was an act of reprisal for Britton's killing. However, police investigators have since dismissed that assertion.

The deaths of the two drivers, however, triggered much tension between some taxi operators in sections of the Corporate Area, and some employees of the JUTC.

The development led to drivers of the state-owned bus company withdrawing their services the following two days, resulting in wide-scale commuter dislocation within the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR).

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