Accused gang member had reported robbery

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, May 03, 2019

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An alleged member of the Uchence Wilson Gang, who the trial previously heard had set up a robbery at a farm where he worked in St Catherine, had reported the robbery, claiming that three masked men took three rifles and ammunition from the house on the property.

The statement, which was given by the accused, Michael Lamont, who was 18 in May 2015 when the robbery occurred, was adduced into evidence at the trial yesterday after both the Crown and the defence agreed to have it submitted as agreed facts.

According to Lamont in his statement, he and a male worker, who was both deaf and dumb, were about to have lunch which two women who were present had prepared for them when they were pounced upon by three men, one armed with a gun and another with a steel cutter.

Previously, a Crown witness had told the court that accused Stephenson Bennett was the one who would use a steel cutter to allow the gang access to homes and businesses.

In his statement, Lamont said the men took the women into a room and tied them. He said one of the robbers kicked the feet of the male farm worker, causing him to fall to floor. The robber, Lamont said, told the man to stay down, while ordering him (Lamont) to get down on the floor as well in another room.

Lamont said one of the women was taken upstairs by one of the robbers who later came down with a television and a pair of binoculars.

Lamont said the man went outside on the verandah, looked through the binoculars and saw two men on a tractor on the farm. He went back inside the house, kicked Lamont and accused him of telling them that no one was on the farm.

Following that, he said he saw a second man, who had gone upstairs, coming back downstairs with three rifles and a suitcase with ammunition. One of the robbers, he added, took the guns and put them into a knapsack with the ammunition.

He further said in his statement that after one of the robbers called a driver, he instructed the other two to tie them up before they left with the television.

Lamont said that after the men left, he managed to untie himself and free the others. They called the police and he gave them a statement.

Lamont described one of the robbers as tall and slim and one as short, but claimed he would be unable to identify them as they were all wearing masks.

Previously, Witness 2 for the Crown, who is a former member of the gang, told the court that Lamont had set up a robbery at his workplace and during the robbery the men had beaten him to make it appear that he was not involved.

Earlier in the trial a police witness testified that on December 2, 2017, she was a member of a police team that went to Corporal Lloyd Knight's home and seized five cellular phones, three consoles, a laptop, a play station and some SIM cards.

Knight, who was a serving member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, is alleged to be a member of the gang and is being tried along with reputed gang leader Uchence Wilson and 20 alleged gang members, and two former employees of a pawn shop in Kingston, for various offences under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act, commonly referred to as the anti-gang legislation. They are also charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The trial has so far heard from a Crown witness that Knight was the individual who had told the gang about a fruit vendor in St Mary whom they robbed and that following the robbery he collected guns from the men.

The witness had also told the court that Knight would collect money to free gang members when they were arrested and would also inform the alleged leader when the police were seeking to arrest him and collect money.

The trial continues today before Chief Justice Bryan Sykes.


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