Sun | Sep 15, 2019

Vanessa Kirkland Murder Trial | Judge, prosecutor clash over crime-scene photos

Published:Thursday | January 24, 2019 | 12:49 AMNickoy Wilson
File photo

A testy exhange of words between presiding judge Justice Carol Lawrence-Beswick and lead prosecutor Kathy-Ann Pyke yesterday prompted the abrupt adjournment of the trial for the three cops charged with the 2012 murder of Immaculate Conception High student Vanessa Kirkland.

The disagreement stemmed from an application by the prosecution to have a CD containing at least 300 photographs admitted into evidence as the trial continued at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

Lawrence-Beswick questioned the relevance of having all of the photos admitted into evidence after the prosecution had said that only a select few would be shown in open court.

“Have you tried to agree on what is relevant? We have so many versions of the same thing,” said Beswick-Lawrence, referencing photographs shown on Monday.

Pyke inquired, “What more the Crown must do?”

The judge insisted that the defence must be shown the material that would be used.

After a further exchange of words, Pyke said, “I don’t think this should take place in the presence of the jury.”

In response, Lawrence-Beswick said, “You do not tell me what to do, Ms Pyke!”

Subsequently, the proceedings were halted to allow for the prosecution and the defence to agree on the material.


When court reconvened, however, the verbal exchange continued as Pyke insisted that the photographs be admitted.

Lawrence-Beswick said that all the photographs could not be relevant, but Pyke disagreed, saying that they related to the scene.

Pyke then suggested that the court was not listening to what she was saying, but Lawrence-Beswick would not budge.

“I may be accused of many things, but not listening is not one of them ... . I listen too much. I should have stopped this along ago. I am stopping now,” Lawrence-Beswick said as she brought the proceedings to a premature end.

The trial will continue today.

The allegations are that police constables Anna-Kay Bailey, Durvin Hayles, and Andrewain Smith opened fire on a blue Suzuki Swift motor car parked along Norman Lane, St Andrew, on March 20, 2012, killing Kirkland, who was in the vehicle.