Fri | Jul 19, 2019

'Swift justice' - Man convicted on screenshots gets conviction and sentence overturned

Published:Tuesday | December 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

Demetri Hemmings, the man who was convicted based on screenshots of emails, is now reunited with his son, after being acquitted by the Court of Appeal in downtown Kingston yesterday.

The 27-year-old was convicted of possession of identity information in the Trelawny Circuit Court on March 10 last year based on 14 screenshots of emails retrieved from an iPad.

Hemmings, who was sentenced to three years imprisonment in February, is happy with the ruling and is now looking to pursue a career in architecture.

He told The Gleaner that while behind bars, his Bible, especially Psalm 121, and visits from his attorney, gave him hope.

His attorney, Isat Buchanan, said that he made a bail application for his client in September, but the court instead decided to hear a substantive appeal.

Buchanan is also pleased with the outcome, describing it as 'swift justice'.

"There was no evidence. Mr Hemmings maintained his innocence from start to finish and swift justice is a very rare thing in our justice system, but I am very grateful for the court and the experienced panel. Mr Hemmings is a free man," Buchanan said.

During the appeal hearing in November, defence attorneys told the court that the trial judge erred when she made a judgement in the trial, based solely on the digital forensic report by an analyst from the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency.

It was also argued that the judge failed to establish the relationship between her client and the information allegedly found on the device.

Hemmings was also represented by Queen's Counsel Carolyn Reid-Cameron and Chukwuemeka Cameron.

A written judgement is expected at a later date.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com