The man the Police claimed confessed to starting the fire that gutted the Brickdam Police station is denying that he ever made any such confession and he is accusing the Police of forcing him to sign a statement after he was allegedly assaulted during questioning.
The man, Clarence Greene, who was in the Brickdam lockups when the fire engulfed the station on Saturday, met with Attorneys Ronald Daniels and Kiswana Jefford today and told them that he had nothing to do with the fire and was forced to sign a statement that was never read to him.
The man told the Attorneys that he was arrested early on Saturday morning on allegations of an armed robbery. He said he was searched before he was placed in Cell #4 inside the lockups. There was nothing found on him during the search.
Attorney Ronald Daniels said his client told him that he was the only one placed in the cell and moments after being placed there, he started to smell something burning and raised an alarm which was ignored by the Police.
He said a prisoner in the cell next to him also raised an alarm that there was a burning scent coming into the cell, but that prisoner’s complaint was also ignored.
Greene told his Attorneys that he eventually fell asleep but was awakened by a prisoner at his door throwing water on him and alerting him that there was a fire. The man said by this time, smoke was coming into the cell, and the Police started to evacuate them from the area.
“They were taken to another building in the compound and searched again, then taken to the nearby school and searched again, before eventually being taken to the Sparendaam Police station by bus on Saturday evening”, the Attorney said.
Attorney Daniels said his client told him that while on their way to the Police station on the East Coast, the prisoners were talking on the bus about the fire and the fact that their initial alarm about the fire was ignored.
At the Sparendaam station, the man said he provided a statement to the Police detailing his experience, recounting all that took place and the warnings he provided.
He said later on Sunday he was taken to the CID headquarters where he was questioned while being hit on the shoulder. The Attorney said his client told him that throughout the questioning at CID, he never confessed to starting any fire, because he never started any fire.
The man said he was eventually given a statement to sign and when he asked the Officer to read the statement to him because he could not read, he was told that he should just sign it.
He said on Monday he was taken back to the scene of the Fire where he again denied any role in starting the fire.
Attorney Ronald Daniels said his client was very clear about all that took place at the Police station on Saturday.
On Sunday, the Police issued a statement indicating that the man had confessed to setting the station on fire, by lighting a piece of a mattress, tying it onto a piece of wire, and pushing it through the vent of the lockups into an office area.
Immediately, questions were raised about the confession.
More questions were raised yesterday when checks of the home address of the man provided by the Police revealed that the address is non-existent and no one in the area knows the man.
The Attorney said the man actually lives in the Timehri area but was staying at a relative in Charlestown when he was arrested.
The Attorney has since indicated that a complaint will be filed against the investigating officer, who his client claims assaulted him during questioning.