Fri | Feb 21, 2020

Verdict for Uchence Wilson, co-accused pushed back to March 2020

Published:Tuesday | December 10, 2019 | 10:15 AM

The verdict in the case against alleged gang leader Uchence Wilson and his 17 co-accused has been pushed back to March 30, 2020. 

The decision was previously set for January 8 next year. 

But, in a December 6 letter to attorneys in the matter, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, who is the presiding judge, explained that due to problems with the previous software used to collate, analyse and annotate evidence, an alternative had to be sought. 

The procurement for the new software, according to letter, was not completed until last week. 

“Unfortunately, the procurement process was not completed until December 4, 2019, when the link to the software was acquired. This new software seems more promising, but there is an inevitable learning curve which was be successfully negotiated. The transcripts and other evidence will not have to loaded unto this software, annotated and managed,” Sykes said. 

He expressed apologies for the delay, citing that it could not be avoided. 

It was indicated that a new date had been set to hand down a decision in the case.

During the trial, which began on March 4, a total of 37 witnesses testified.

Sixty-one items were entered into evidence, including a witness statement from accused Michael ‘Judge’ Lamonth, pawnshop contracts, cellphone data, car-rental contracts, a rifle, a ballistics report, and cellphones seized from alleged gang members.

Wilson’s passport, which placed him outside of Jamaica when he was said to have participated in one of the alleged robberies, was also admitted into evidence.

The prosecution is relying on accomplice evidence of two witnesses who claim to have been members of the gang.

In their respective testimonies, the two confessed members of the gang told the court that they participated in robberies in St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, St Ann, Trelawny, and St Mary.

They also told the court that the criminal organisation would trade in stolen items, particularly electronics, at a pawnshop in the Corporate Area.

In no-case submissions made in July on behalf of the accused, excluding Lamonth, defence attorneys argued that the prosecution had not proven their clients’ involvement in the gang beyond a reasonable doubt.

However, Sykes ruled that only Junior Rose and Shadday Beckford had no case to answer because the prosecution offered no evidence against them.

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