BVI News

Matthew Hazel Guilty!

Matthew Hazel attending court on February 26, 2015

Matthew Hazel attending court on February 26, 2015

Matthew Hazel, who attempted to pull off a brazen robbery outside CIBC First Caribbean Bank in 2015 and almost cut down an off-duty cop in the process, was found guilty in the High court today, March 31.

A jury found him guilty on charges of attempted murder, attempted robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Hazel, who was employed to the bank at the time of the attempted robbery, will be sentenced on April 24.

Justice Nicola Byer presided over the trial.

Prosecution’s Case

The prosecution led evidence that, on February 15, 2015, Sergeant Darville Carty collected a sum of money from OneMart Supermarket and went to First Caribbean Bank in Road Town to deposit the funds.

He reached the bank just after midnight.

After reaching the night deposit box, the officer used his key to open it; then returned to his vehicle that was parked nearby.

At that point, he was accosted by a gunman, who was wearing a white ‘scary movie mask’.

The gunman pointed his weapon at the officer’s head and then fired a shot at him.

The officer managed to evade the bullet, and the gunman then demanded money.

The cop inquired what money the gunman was asking about, and offender discharged a second round.

Thereafter, the police officer told the gunman that the money was in his car.

The offender went to the car and started to search for the money.

After coming up empty handed, he again approached the police officer who – at that time – had his firearm.

The officer discharged the weapon and the gunman fled.

The cop gave chase.

It is further said that, upon reaching the vicinity of the Palm Grove building in Road Town, the gunman turned around and shot at the officer.

The officer fired back, and the offender fell and reportedly removed his mask.

The court heard that, shortly afterwards, the offender continued to run while still being armed.

Upon reaching a lit area, he turned around to shoot at the officer another time.

At that point, the officer reportedly managed to identify Hazel.

The chase continued, and eventually concluded after Hazel reportedly evaded the officer.

The scene of the shooting was later processed and a revolver handgun, a scary movie mask, as well as several empty cartridges and live rounds reportedly recovered.

Hazel was met moments later suffering from a gunshot wound at Peebles Hospital.

On February 24, Hazel was discharged from the hospital and taken to the Road Town Police Station where an interview was conducted with him.

Forensic samples were also obtained for testing.

Hazel, up to the time of the shooting, was a receptionist at First Caribbean Bank for three years.

He had told the court that he was shot accidentally during a cross-fire.

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