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A SUSPECTED robber and fraudster from Bulawayo allegedly escaped from police custody at the Tredgold Magistrate’s Courts last week. Billiard Chigorera, 37, sources said, was re-arrested on Friday, seven days after sneaking out while police officers were registering his case at set down. “We’re told he was re-arrested in Makokoba,” said a court official who declined to be named.Bulawayo Police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango yesterday declined to comment. “I can’t comment on an issue that’s in the courts,” said Insp Simango.
Chigorera on Friday pleaded not guilty to robbery and fraud before magistrate Tinashe Tashaya. “I’ve committed many other crimes, that I’m yet to appear for, but the robbery and fraud I’m being charged with are false,” said Chigorera.
The Chronicle could not get hold of the court roll listing the other crimes. Chigorera demanded a copy of the state outline from the magistrate before continuation of trial.
The magistrate remanded him in custody to April 25 for commencement of trial. “I need a copy of the state outline so I can read and try to understand the crimes I allegedly committed. I’ve other charges but I don’t admit the fraud and robbery. I didn’t commit these crimes,” he said, drawing laughter from the gallery.
Prosecuting Danmore Kasenza said on April 13 at around 1PM at a barbershop in Makokoba, Chigorera and two accomplices who are still at large robbed Enock Washayabunha. The court heard Washayabunha was with a woman he had picked at a bar.
“The complainant started throwing stones at the accused, who he knew as a thief. Accused threatened the complainant saying he was capable of killing him,” said Kasenza.
The prosecutor said the trio robbed Washayabunha of $50, a cellphone, black Timberland shoes he was wearing, before kicking him all over the body.
Kasenza said Chigorera was arrested at the scene after Washayabunha escaped and reported the crime to the police.
Washayabunha lost goods valued at $120 and was left with a swollen forehead and a cut, the court heard.
For the fraud charge, Chigorera allegedly duped Bukhosi Nkomo into giving him a cellphone and a satchel containing clothes, after promising her “lucrative short time employment.”
“On April 9 at around 3PM along 6th Avenue Chigorera asked Bukhosi Nkomo to help him offload clothes at a car parked by St Patrick’s in Makokoba,” said Kasenza.
The court heard Chigorera told Nkomo to wait at the car parked outside while he put her satchel and cellphone somewhere safe. He allegedly told her there were cellphones and clothes in the car and she would not be able to prove she had not stolen them if she kept her property.
Nkomo, the prosecutor said, realised she had been conned after the owner of the car arrived and told her he did not know of any clothes that needed to be offloaded. Chigorera had vanished with her property worth $96.
As he was led out of the dock, Chigorera insisted on being given the state outline, saying he wanted to study it and prepare his defence. Noleen Makhurane-source- Chronicle