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Manchester businessman freed of burglary, wounding charges

Published:Thursday | February 25, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

A Manchester businessman who went on trial last week on charges of burglary and felonious wounding was freed after Supreme Court Judge Jennifer Straw upheld a no-case submission by defence lawyer Everton Bird.

He is 36-year-old Andrew Graham of St Toule's district, Manchester.

After the Crown closed its case, Bird referred to discrepancies in the Crown's case and said the jury would have been left in a quandary as to how much opportunity the complainant had to observe the men before he was attacked.

The judge upheld the sub-missions and directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty.

The allegations were that, about midnight on April 2, 2008, the complainant, Norman Martin, was inside his house watching tele-vision when he heard a motorcar driving very fast. The car stopped and he got out of his bed, looked though a window and saw four men, including the accused Graham, coming out of the car. He said Graham was his neighbour and all four men walked towards his (Martin's) house.

Saw his face

Graham kicked the door open and Graham and one of the men came inside the house. The light was on and the complainant said he saw Graham's face "plain, plain".

He said Graham was armed with a long knife which he used to stab the complainant in his left side and also in his chest near to his heart.

The complainant said he had a machete in his hand when the men came into his house but the other man, who had a gun, ordered him to drop the machete. He said it was after he dropped the machete that Graham stabbed him twice. He said he managed to escape from the men and ran into the bushes.

Cross-examined by Bird, the complainant admitted that he told the police in his statement that, of the four men who came to his premises, he could only recognise Graham because it was very dark.

barbara.gayle@gleanerjm.com