Wed | Jan 27, 2021

Uchence Wilson Gang Trial | Prosecutors urge court to take witnesses at their word

Published:Thursday | July 25, 2019 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

Heavily relying on the evidence of two self-proclaimed ex-members of the Uchence Wilson Gang, the prosecution yesterday urged presiding judge Chief Justice Bryan Sykes to believe its witnesses, describing them as credible and reliable.

“We submit, My Lord, that after vigorous and lengthy cross-examination, these two witnesses, for the most part, were not discredited,” said a senior deputy director of public prosecutions yesterday as she presented closing arguments as the trial of the Uchence Wilson Gang continued at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

As the prosecutor shone the spotlight on reputed gang leader Uchence Wilson, she said that the Crown was not only relying on the former gang members-turned-witnesses, but also on audio recordings of Wilson as he accompanied investigators from the police’s Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Division to Clarendon after being arrested in 2017.

Earlier in the trial, the court heard a clip of a recording in which Wilson was demanding guns from co-accused Odeen ‘Brinks’ Smith in the presence of the investigators.

“We are asking Your Lordship to interpret what was said as the boss establishing his position. Secondly, the boss putting himself in constructive possession of the rifle, and the boss, having negotiated for his girlfriend to a certain extent [with] the police, was instructing a lesser member of the gang to hand over the rifle,” the prosecutor said.

ALLEGED ASSOCIATIONS

In relation to alleged deputy gang leader Fitzroy Scott, the prosecutor said that the former gangsters said Scott was involved in several robberies and had on occasion shared the loot with other alleged gang members.

There was evidence from one of the witnesses, too, that Scott led the gang at one point.

The prosecutor said that Scott had connections with co-accused Wilson, Shantol Gordon, Machel Golbourne, and the first witness.

“These associations are not coincidental. These associations come about because these persons, whose names I have called, are all members of the same criminal organisation, having different roles to play,” the senior deputy director of public prosecutions said.

The prosecution said that the witnesses, independent of each other, identified accused Stephenson Bennett as the gang member who would cut burglar bars to gain access to properties; Michael ‘Judge’ Lamonth as the person who would hold people at gunpoint; and Devin Taylor as the designated driver; and Machel Golbourne.

Before that, attorney-at-law Donna McIntosh Bryce-Gayle, who made closing arguments on behalf of her client – accused Kenith ‘Blacks’ Wynter – asserted that there was no corroborative evidence against her client.

She also said that her client did not fit the witness’ description of him.

“The other eyewitness that called the name ‘Blacks’ described him with a balding hairstyle with a gap in his teeth. It is clear, My Lord, that if that is the description, then it does not fit Kenith Wynter,” Bryce-Gayle said.

Wilson and his 17 alleged cronies are on trial for breaches of the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act 2014, commonly known as the Anti-Gang Legislation, between 2015 and 2017.

They are also being tried for breaches of the Firearms Act.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com