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Yallahs cop denied bail as new evidence emerges

BY PAUL HENRY Crime/Court Desk co-ordinator henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 20, 2012    

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NEW evidence was yesterday presented in the Home Circuit Court regarding the shooting death of an eight-month pregnant woman in Yallahs, St Thomas earlier this month, allegedly by Corporal Dwayne Smart.

The Crown told the court that a policeman who was on foot patrol with Smart gave a statement in which he said that the accused cop pointed the gun at him after the shooting death of Kay-Ann Lamont and injuring her sister. The policeman, according to the Crown, said he attempted to restrain Smart when the accused pointed the weapon at him.

The policeman said in his statement that it was Smart's brother, a district constable, who had to restrain him and dragged him to the nearby Yallahs Police Station after 27-year-old Lamont was shot in the head and her sister struck in the shoulder.

Smart, the court was told, also refused to turn over his weapon and that it had to be pried from his hand.

The revelation was made during a failed application for bail on Smart's behalf, and formed the basis for Justice Lloyd Hibbert denying the accused bail.

"Given the circumstances, this is not a proper case for bail," Hibbert said.

The court was told that on the day of the incident -- Saturday, September 1 -- Smart was leading two other policemen on a patrol in Yallahs square when he attempted to arrest Lamont for using expletives and a struggle developed.

The court heard that one of Smart's colleague warned him about the way he was treating the pregnant woman but that he persisted.

Both Smart and Lamont fell during the struggle after which the women were shot.

During the bail application, attorney Valerie Neita-Robertson told the court that her client was attacked by the sisters and persons who had gathered on the scene and his uniform got torn.

According to Neita-Robertson, the 33-year-old Smart only fired his weapon to save himself from the attacking mob. She said the crowd was such that Smart's colleagues could not get to him.

Based on witness statements, the Crown is contending that Smart was not being attacked when he shot the sisters.

In refusing the bail application, Justice Hibbert lamented the fact that Smart persisted even after been warned by his own colleague and people on the scene against his treatment of the pregnant woman.

Smart is scheduled to return to court on October 12 when the case will again be mentioned.

Neita-Robertson said she would revisit the matter of bail after being served with the investigating officer's statement, the post-mortem, forensic and crime scene report.

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