'I'm not lying'

Former gangster turned State witness stands firm under cross-examination

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, March 14, 2019

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A gangster turned Crown witness yesterday insisted that he was being honest about Uchence “Terrence” Wilson's leadership and involvement in the gang after Wilson's attorney, Lloyd McFarlane, suggested repeatedly that he had lied and that he was an unscrupulous person.

The former gang member, whom this newspaper is referring to as Witness One because the court has ordered that witnesses in the case remain anonymous, has been testifying for four days in Home Circuit Court via a video link from a remote location.

He gave details about some 12 robberies that the gang had carried out and at all times indicated that Wilson had been present, including at a “profile” robbery in St Ann during which a relative of the witness was attacked.

But McFarlane, who was armed with a passport during his cross-examination of Witness One, suggested that the witness was being untruthful about Wilson's involvement in that robbery, as his client was away in Belize when the robbery occurred.

However, the witness, who indicated that he was not aware that Wilson was off the island on the day of the robbery in May 2016, rejected the accusation that he lied.

“I would not say that. I go pon robbery with dem every night,” he said.

The witness also denied that he was the one who had come up with the plan to rob his male relative, but admitted that he had “set up” the robbery of a female relative of his.

“Do you agree that you are an unscrupulous person?” McFarlane asked the witness.

“Ah don't know the meaning of that word,” he quickly replied.

The lawyer then told him that it meant that he would rob his own mother if he had a chance.

McFarlane further sought to punch holes into the witness's evidence by pointing to a number of instances in which the witness had given testimony about things that he had omitted from his statement to the police.

But the witness, in his defence, said that because of the number of robberies he did not remember every detail, and also did not go in-depth in his statement, and instead had given the police basic information.

In one of the instances, McFarlane asked the witness why he did not tell the court that Wilson was among the men who had guns during the robbery of scammers in St Catherine and suggested that he had also lied about Wilson being present and being armed.

“Terrence got a firearm, he is the leader, he is not going anywhere without his firearm, that is common sense,” he answered.

When pressed further by the attorney, the witness said, “Terrence always have him gun.”

“Why didn't you tell us that from the beginning that Terrence always have him gun?” the lawyer questioned.

“But Terrence a di leader, a him distribute the guns; him automatically a go have one,” the witness said.

“But a common sense; the leader nah go inside a building without a firearm,” the witness said after he was again asked why he was now saying this.

The attorney, still on the matter of his client and guns, asked the witness if he had not indicated during his testimony that five guns were used during the robbery of his neighbour in Kingston and had listed the names of the five individuals who had guns, excluding Wilson.

The witness agreed that he did, but explained that one of the men he had listed was always armed with his personal firearm; hence, they would have had about six guns. He also rejected a suggestion that he was being mendacious.

“I don't need to lie, I was there,” he insisted.

The lawyer cited another inconsistency. He pointed to the witness's statement in which he had indicated that he was the person who had taken out a cash register from a farm store during a robbery in Bog Walk, St Catherine, but testified in court that Wilson had taken out a cash register from the store.

But the witness, in explanation, said there were two cash registers.

The lawyer also questioned him about the statement that he had given pertaining to a robbery in Kellits, Clarendon, where he said that when they arrived the victim had been held at gunpoint outside and was forced to open the grille to his home. However, during his testimony in court he said that the men waited in bushes and when the man came he was accosted and Wilson kicked off his door, splitting it in two after he and defendant Michael Lamont had tried and failed.

“Were you lying to the police or to the court?” the lawyer asked.

But the witness said when he gave his statement he did not go in-depth.

The lawyer then asked how is it that he told the police in his statement that Wilson shot the man after he refused to say where the money was, but testified in court that the man was shot by Wilson after he pulled a cutlass and chopped Wilson on his hand and if he was not going in-depth then. The lawyer again suggested that the witness was being untruthful, but he disagreed.

Witness One contested some of the things the lawyer indicated he had said in his statement, but agreed after he was shown the statement via document camera. When asked about similar occurrences, he said there were too many robberies to talk about, so he just mentioned the main parts and that he did not remember everything on spot when he was giving his statement. However, he said that while he was testifying he recalled more things.

The witness also agreed under further cross-examination from McFarlane that the gang was not called the Uchence Wilson Gang and that it had no name.

However, he rejected the suggestion that Wilson was not the leader or a member.

“Do you agree that Wilson was a carpenter by trade and that he had a shop?” the attorney asked.

“Terrence stop do carpentry long time,” Witness One answered.

He also dismissed the allegation that he was lying when he testified that he saw Wilson having sex with woman during a robbery.

“I was there, I saw him on top of the girl having sex,” he maintained.

The lawyer then told him that he could not remember a lot of things in 2017 when he gave his statement, but had now remembered in 2019, and asked him if his memory gets better with time.

But the witness told him that he did not understand the question.

Cross-examination of Witness One continues today by Fitzroy Scott's attorney, CJ Mitchell.


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