Mon | Aug 21, 2017

INDECOM gave me 'pointers' - police investigator

Published:Thursday | February 23, 2017 | 2:00 AMLivern Barrett

A police inspector yesterday testified during the so-called police death squad trial that he received "a document" from the oversight body, the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), "with pointers" for a second witness statement.

Inspector Balvey Thomas also revealed that the Clarendon man, who is the main prosecution witness, has been arrested several times by the May Pen police for extortion and other crimes.

Thomas was giving evidence in the Home Circuit Court during cross-examination by Vincent Wellesley, the lead attorney for Corporal Roan Morrison, one of the two policemen on trial.

"So, based on the 'pointers' INDECOM gave you, you prepared a second statement?" Wellesley asked, making reference to the witness statement Thomas gave the oversight body in July 2014.

"Yes, the further statement," Thomas replied.

The police inspector later clarified, during re-examination by lead prosecutor AnnMarie Fuertado-Richards, that the document he got from INDECOM had a number of questions he was required to answer in the form of a statement.

 

A GANG MEMBER

 

Morrison and Constable Collis Brown are on trial for murder and wounding with intent. They were charged by INDECOM following an incident in May Pen, Clarendon, on February 13, 2010, in which Phaebian Dinnal, 20, was shot and killed and another man shot and wounded.

On Tuesday, Thomas testified that Morrison and Brown acknowledged, minutes after the shooting on Windsor Avenue, that they had fired their weapons but said it happened after they were challenged by two men armed with guns.

But when challenged by Wellesley yesterday, Thomas admitted that the statement he gave to INDECOM as well as the first statement he gave investigators did not include this account.

The senior investigator also testified that the main prosecution witness was a gang member who, at the time of the shooting incident, was being investigated for shooting with intent and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

"So one could describe him as being in the top tier of the gang, the upper echelons?" asked Brown's lead attorney, Norman Godfrey.

"Not in the top tier. I would say a foot soldier," Thomas testified, before clarifying that the Clarendon man was never charged for extortion.

The trial continues today.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com