Sun | Mar 29, 2020

Uchence Wilson Gang Trial | Chief justice raps lawyer for time-wasting

Published:Saturday | March 16, 2019 | 12:18 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

Presiding judge Chief Justice Bryan Sykes yesterday shut down a defence attorney, criticising him for wasting time as the trial of reputed gang leader Uchence Wilson and his 23 cronies continued at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

“Had it been proceeding in a structured and an orderly way, things could have been done in three hours. There is nothing that the witness said about anything that requires six hours,” Sykes said, admonishing attorney-at-law C.J. Mitchell.

The attorney, who is representing accused Fitzroy Scott, Tashina Baker, and Cornel White, had been cross-examining the witness from Thursday morning.

Justice Sykes also discouraged the attorney from engaging in verbal clashes with the witness as it was not necessary.

“It does not impress me,” Justice Sykes charged.

Earlier in the proceedings, Mitchell continued to press the witness about details of his testimony.

The witness claims to be a former member of the gang.

On Thursday, the witness admitted to stealing phonecards, cigarettes, and money from Baker on more than one occasion. He told the court that the items were stolen and that he did not feel guilty.

But when asked by Mitchell how he knew the items were stolen, the witness said, “If I could predict the future, I would walk with a video camera and video the robberies and come show you,” the witness said.

Mitchell also asked, “Have you ever heard the expression ‘Thief from thief, God laugh’? Was this what you were doing?” referencing the items stolen from his client.

The witness answered, “No, sir.”

Mitchell then suggested, “Your word should not be believed by anyone, anywhere.”

“Yes, it should be believed because it is true,” the witness retorted.

But the attorney pressed on.

“I believe you are an excellent liar, coming here to deceive this court,” Mitchell asserted.

The witness said: “That’s your belief, sir. That’s your belief.”

After Mitchell’s cross-examination of the witness was brought to an abrupt end by Justice Sykes, attorney-at-law Vanessa Taylor began her round of questioning.

“When you go on your robberies, you are the faithful watchman on your robberies?” asked Taylor, who is representing accused Stephenson ‘Slim’ Bennett.

“What you mean by my robbery, miss?” the witness asked, taking issue with the question.

When she rephrased, the witness said, “Some of them, miss.”

Taylor later asked, “Based on your account, you cannot be the watchman and inside searching,” referencing the robbery in upper St Andrew, where the witness said two high-end vehicles were stolen.

The witness said, “I don’t agree.”

Wilson and his 23 alleged cronies are on trial for breaches of the anti-gang legislation stemming from crimes allegedly committed between 2015 and 2017.