Witness fails to ID accused robber in gang trial

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

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A St Ann woman who testified yesterday in the Uchence Wilson gang trial that she had seen the face of one of three robbers, who in April 2017 kicked in her door and tied her up along with her husband and three sons, failed to identify the perpetrator in court.

The witness, who appeared nervous, testified in the Home Circuit Court that two of the men wore masks, while the other sported a hoodie and was armed with a gun. She said her family was robbed of cash, more than five cellular phones, video games, a Toyota bus, and a school bag.

According to the witness, the robber dressed in the hoodie was first to enter the house and she was able to see his face for the duration of the incident, which lasted about 15 to 20 minutes, as there was a small light on in the house.

However, when the prosecutor asked if she would be able to identify the accused robber she described as short and stocky, the witness said she was unsure. In a subsequent dock identification, she did not recognise any of the 20 males as the robber in question.

The woman, however, told the court that her house was located close to a cemetery and one of the Crown's star witnesses, a former member of the gang, previously testified that the gang did carry out a robbery in St Ann and that he was positioned in a nearby cemetery as the look-out man.

During further testimony, the witness told the court that when the second robber entered her house, he went into the kitchen and armed himself with one of her knives. She said both robbers then demanded money from her husband, who handed over cash from his pocket.

They then asked them for guns, she said, but were told that they had none. To convince them, the witness said she had to remove the pillows from her bed. They then asked for the keys to the bus, which he found soon after on furniture in the room.

The court also heard that before the accused left with the loot, they tied up the witness and her family using wire and one of the boys' school ties.

The witness' husband also took the stand yesterday and recalled that they tried to prevent the men from breaking in when they heard them kicking the door, but could not hold them off.

He further said that the contents of the stolen bus included an advance card, a health card and an ID card, which he positively identified during his testimony.

Wilson and 21 alleged gang members, including four women, Police Corporal Lloyd Knight, as well as two former employees of a pawn shop in Kingston, are being tried for various offences under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act, commonly referred to as the anti-gang legislation, and for offences under the Firearms Act.


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