'Gimme back mi Benz'

'Gimme back mi Benz'

Cops hold on to George Nooks's SUV after arrest

Associate Editor —
Auto & Entertainment

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

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ATTORNEYS representing singer George Nooks are seeking the return of his Mercedes-Benz GL 450 SUV which was seized by police during his arrest on drug charges last Thursday.

Nooks is being represented by Christopher Townsend and Kaysain Kennedy of TWP Attorneys-at-Law as well as Tom Tavares-Finson, QC, and Donahue Martin.

“My client has denied any wrongdoing...We are in the process of making an application for the return for his motor vehicle that is still in the possession of the police. When it is that disclosure is made to us, we can have a formal view on how we treat with the allegations,” Martin told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Nooks, 59, was arrested for an April 2019 incident and charged with possession of cocaine and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

After spending a night in police lock-up Nooks was freed the following day in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court in Half-Way-Tree. His bail is set at $300,000 and he is scheduled to reappear in court on January 13.

Allegations are that Nooks ingested “some substance” after being accosted by the police in Liguanea, St Andrew, in April 2019. He was taken to Kingston Public Hospital for observation and subsequently released.

“My client is of the view that he's being targeted by members of the Narcotics Division...I'm sure from what Mr Townsend said, I'm sure you would take the view that it is really a bizarre sequence of allegations,” Martin added.

According to Townsend, who secured the singer's bail, the case is an “unconventional” one.

“Allegations are that Nooks had ingested some substance upon being accosted and so there was very little or nothing to test. However, the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions] ruled that the matter was prosecutable. The officers were hesitant to charge him as it was not a conventional find that they're used to, so they required the superior knowledge of the DPP's office to assist them in that regard,” said Townsend.

“At the bail hearing there was some kind of resistance that he made himself unavailable...It was a general complaint that they [the police] made because I heard it too at the police station. We found that unusual, as he sang at Superintendent Leon Clunis's funeral [in August] where there were a number of officers, including officers from Narcotics. And if he was a flight risk, certainly turning up to sing at a superintendent's funeral would have given him away. It speaks to the knowledge of the man that he's not running from anything at all...He was found not guilty in relation to similar allegations and he has had a history of presenting himself,” Townsend continued.

Nooks was found not guilty on drug-related charges on May 21, last year.

Clunis headed a team of officers who came under an intense gun attack in Horizon Park, Spanish Town, on June 12. Two other policemen, Constable Decardo Hylton and Corporal Dane Biggs, died in the attack.

Inspired by his mentor, Dennis Brown, Nooks burst onto the entertainment scene in the 1970s as deejay Prince Mohammed, with producer Joe Gibbs. His hit songs for Gibbs include Tribal War (as George Nooks) and Forty Leg Dread.

After a decade-long absence from the charts, Nooks roared back in 2001 with God is Standing By, a cover of Al Green's gospel hit of the same name.

He has been a popular live and recording act since.

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