Woman describes three-hour ordeal with armed, masked men

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, May 02, 2019

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A Clarendon businesswoman yesterday provided details about a frightening three-hour experience she had with armed, masked men who broke into her home and robbed her, her daughter, and partner of two guns, a large sum of money, clothes, and other items.

The woman, who was unable to identify who had robbed her and her family, testified yesterday during the Uchence Wilson Gang trial in the Home Circuit Court that her daughter was injured during the incident after one of the robbers hit her on the forehead with a gun after she lied to them about having her firearm.

Reputed gang leader Uchence Wilson and 20 alleged gang members, who include women, police corporal Lloyd Knight, and 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 illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The trial previously heard that the gang, between 2015 and 2017, carried out a series of robberies in St Catherine, Clarendon, St Andrew, St Mary, and St Ann, in which items such as motor vehicles, firearms, appliances, cellular phones, and other valuables were stolen.

However, yesterday, during the trial, it was not stated whether or not the gang was behind the robbery the witness spoke about, but one of the Crown witnesses, who was a former member of the gang, had told the court that he was told by members of the gang that they had robbed a woman and had stolen two guns at her home.

The businesswoman told the court that she was attacked by the robbers on July 28, 2017, shortly after she had arrived home about 9:00 pm with her spouse and daughter.

The witness said she had just finished showering and was inside her bedroom wrapped in a towel when a man appeared minutes after she heard a sound outside.

The man, who was armed with a gun, sneaked up while her daughter was exiting the room and placed a finger on his lips, indicating that she should be silent.

At that moment she said she looked on her daughter and saw the fear in her eyes and realised that something was wrong.

Another robber, who also had a gun, then appeared, she told the court. Then another armed man, she said, held on to her spouse, who had been in the living room, and took him to the bedroom.

She said the men told them to hold their heads down and as she stood her towel fell, leaving her naked. The men, she said, started asking her for money and she gave the $15,000 which she had brought home in a bag.

She said the “tall robber” —the first one to come into the house — then said to her, “Gimme di gun” and she told him that she did not have any.

“Him say, 'Gal me say fi gimme de gun', and him push up the gun more in my face, so me get frighten and say, 'see it there',” the woman testified noting that she had taken the gun from her handbag and handed it to the robber.

Following that, the businesswoman said, he turned to her daughter and demanded that she, too, hand over her gun, but her daughter told him that she had left her firearm at her home.

“'Gal, hear mi say fi gimme di gun',” the witness said the robber insisted, but her daughter maintained that she did not have her firearm with her.

The witness said the robber then hit her daughter on her forehead with a gun, causing swelling, and her daughter began crying.

“Mi try hug her 'cause mi think a shoot dem a shoot har, and mi whisper to her say give dem the gun if you have it,” she told the court. Her daughter complied.

After they got the two guns, the witness said they asked them about how much they had paid for the guns, and said to her daughter, 'Your gun pretty, eeh, you can imagine if yuh di have the upper hand a we wa wud a happen.' Another one asked the witness's partner if he had a gun too but he told him no.

The witness said he then asked the robber if he could allow her to put her clothes on but he did not answer; however, he allowed her to get dressed after her daughter begged him.

After that she said they asked her about any money from her businesses, and she told them that she had used up the shop money to buy goods for the bar, but gave them money she had in a safe.

After they got the money, she said the robbers instructed her to take out the lace from sneakers that were inside the room.

“I did frighten, I could a hardly manage, but I take out one.” The witness testified that she took out three laces in total, and that the robbers used them to tie them up, after which they stuffed their mouths with handkerchiefs.

Before leaving, she said, they took some sneakers, three pairs of pants she had bought for her daughter, and synthetic hair that her daughter had in her handbag.

The businesswoman's daughter, who later took the stand, gave a similar story and confirmed that the men had taken monies, including $7000, US$450 and Can$150. She said she could not remember if they had also taken 50.

The trial continues today.


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