Not even family spared

Witness tells how gang robbed one of his relatives in St Ann

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, March 09, 2019

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A former gangster yesterday testified that one of the biggest heists carried out by the Uchence Wilson gang was an attack on one of his relatives, who was a businessman in St Ann, as he continued to give details about a series of robberies allegedly done by the criminal outfit.

The Crown witness, a former member of the gang who has been giving evidence in the Home Circuit Court via video link from a remote location, testified that that robbery in particular was not ordinary, as it was dubbed a “profile robbery”.

When asked to explain the term “profile robbery” the witness stated that it was one in which they had to travel to the area and assess the location.

As a result, he said, the alleged gang leader, Uchence Wilson and his co-defendants, Fitzroy Scott, the reputed deputy leader, one of the gang's drivers, Devin Taylor, and Michael Lamont travelled to the parish and spent about a week there driving around and observing.

According to the witness, the man whom they were planning to rob was like an “area leader” who was admired by many in his community and was usually adorned in gold jewellery.

“That robbery was no ordinary robbery, so everybody did have to go on that robbery,” the witness said while recalling that defendants, Wilson, Scott, Machel Goulbourne, Lamont, Taylor, Kenneth Winter, and Stephenson Bennett were present as well as other members whom he identified as B13, Jason and Juice.

On the day of the incident, he said, Taylor and Goulbourne transported the men to the area and left them in bushes nearby.

He said they then walked to the area and hid in bushes behind the businessman's establishment and were there for about three hours watching when Wilson said that they needed more bullets in order to carry out the robbery because it was so big.

“Dem did fraid fi go rob dat night, so we went back home...” the witness testified.

But he said Scott called him the very next day and informed him that he should get ready as they were going to do the “profile robbery tonight, tonight”, but he declined as he had already made plans to carry his girlfriend to dinner.

The following day, he said, Scott visited him at his home in Barbican, and when he went into the car that Scott drove there was money all over the floor of the vehicle.

“When I look in the van I see a lot of money, really a lot of money, pounds, Canadian, a lot of different money,” he said.

He said Scott then said to him, “Jah know, dawg you should a come last night, you wud a mek millions”.

The witness said Scott then gave him $80,000 in Jamaican and Canadian dollars and promised to give him more money to buy a motor bike.

When asked what he did with the Canadian dollars, he said, “I went to a strip club, and buy clothes and shoes.”

The witness said Scott later gave him $40,000 more to buy the motor bike, but he used the money to purchase more shoes and clothes.

In the morning session of the trial, the witness gave details about a robbery at a farm store in Bog Walk which was foiled by police after they had cut off the lock and had gone in and removed the cash register and several bags of chicken feed, but had to run away leaving everything behind.

The witness said Wilson told him during that robbery to stand outside and to look out for the police because a police station was nearby, but Wilson later called him to help remove the chicken feed from the store as he wanted them to feed some chickens he was raising at his home in St Catherine.

According to the witness, the police came while he and Wilson were removing the last set of chicken feed from the store and they ran out and escaped with the others into bushes.

However, the witness said Wilson believed that the police came to the scene to steal money from the store, as they did not come with their sirens on.

“A thief dem bwoy deh a thief we money after we tek so long to cut down the place,” the witness recalled Wilson saying.

According to the witness, Wilson then said, “Come mek we fire some shots pon dem bwoy deh nuh,” and then he and Lamont fired at the police van and then they left the area.

The robbery, according to the witness, occurred between midnight and 1:00 am.

He said while making their way out they met an old man along the way and Wilson told Scott to give him a taser for him (the witness) to rob the old man as they know that he was a coward.

The witness said he walked over to the old man told him to give him his money and his phone and the old man told him he only had his bus fare and that he wanted his phone as he was expecting a phone call.

“Mi tell him, 'alright, you can keep yuh money, just gimme the phone' but him start begging me not to take his phone. But him start begging me not to take his phone,” he continued.

At that point, the witness said Wilson approached them and said to him, “Jah know, man you cyaan handle a little, old man,” and took the taser and shocked the old man, pulled him by his shirt, took away his money and phone, and told him “gwaan and move from yah suh”.

He said they then walked for a couple more miles before Taylor came and picked them up and they left.

The witness will continue to give evidence before Chief Justice Bryan Sykes on Monday.

Wilson, the alleged leader of the gang which reportedly terrorised people in St Catherine, St Andrew, Clarendon, St Mary, and St Ann, along with 23 alleged gang members, including Wilson's girlfriend Shantol Gordon, three other females, and a police corporal, are being tried for various offences under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act, commonly referred to as the anti-gang legislation.


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