Witness: 'Chucky' wanted asylum overseas

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

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A human rights activist yesterday testified that Constable Collis “Chucky” Brown had come to her for help with getting asylum overseas some time after the death of a man whom he had been accused of killing in January 2009.

The rights activist alleged that the accused sought help after disclosing that he was the leader of a 'special squad' and that he had fallen out of grace with the police force and was in fear for his life.

“The job of the squad was to deal with those that needed to be dealt with,” the witness said she was told.

The police constable, who was assigned to the May Pen Police Station, and alleged to be part of a team of officers carrying out extrajudicial killing in the parish, is being tried for the murder of 21-year-old Robert “Gutty” Dawkins in Palmer's Cross on January 10, 2009.

Brown is also being tried for the alleged double murder of Andrew Fearon and Dwayne Douglas, both killed in 2012, along with charges of conspiracy and wounding with intent.

Yesterday, during the trial in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston, the witness stated that she met with Constable Brown some time between 2012 and 2013, after he first contacted her via phone seeking a meeting, and that it was an “honest and open engagement”.

According to the witness, Brown, who had not appeared upset or agitated, was “quite serious and careful with his words” during the two-hour meeting at her office in Kingston. She also stated that initially he was a bit hesitant to speak openly with her, but by the end of the meeting she felt that they had established some trust.

Asked by lead prosecutor, Queen's Counsel Caroline Hay, what he told her, said: “He spoke of leading a special squad in May Pen. He spoke of being removed from leadership of that squad and being sent to 100 Man Police Station in Greater Portmore, St Catherine.

“He talked about being concerned about being sent to '100 Man', he seemed angry about it. He seemed concerned about his safety and the safety of his wife and family,” she further answered.

The witness, when asked if she was told about the function of the squad, said she was told that “the job of the squad was to deal with those that needed to be dealt with”, and that it was not a squad that one would find in any other police establishment.

“During our conversation there was a lot of, 'We had to deal with this' or 'sort out a badman',” she added.

The witness also testified that Constable Brown told her that he felt that he was being set up, and that he did not understand why the police had taken his gun for testing in relation to a man who had been killed at May Pen Hospital, as they knew he was not responsible, as they knew who the killer was.

“He was also worried about how much he knew and about his own safety and by extension the safety of his son and wife,” she testified.

When asked if Brown had stated his reason for the visit, the witness said he wanted to know if she could help him to be safe by perhaps going abroad.

However, she said: “I remembered telling him that, based on what he said he would not be a suitable candidate for the witness protection programme.”

At the same time, the witness told the court that she suggested the names of a few people who she felt that he could speak to, including retired Commissioner of Police Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, and Brown indicated that he felt that he could trust Lewin.

As a result, the witness said she contacted the retired crime boss and arranged for both of them to meet at her office, and that the meeting happened about a week later, but she was not present for it.

The trial will continue today with the testimony of Hamish Campbell, assistant commissioner of the Independent Commission of Investigations.

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