Fabricated - Stone Crusher gang members freed on fake evidence
Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter
THE MURDER case against Eldon Calvert, the alleged leader of the Montego Bay based Stone Crusher gang, and two other men was thrown out yesterday because a policeman fabricated a witness statement.
"This is a very sad day in the history of justice," Senior Puisne judge Gloria Smith said when the disclosure was made in the Home Circuit Court.
Paula Llewellyn, QC, director of public prosecutions, said she could not proceed any further with the case because handwriting experts for the defence and the Crown confirmed the witness statement was written and signed by Detective Sergeant Michael Sirjue.
Llewellyn said she was told that Sirjue fled the island. She said the report was that he left on a flight for Florida late Thursday afternoon.
After Llewellyn got the report from handwriting expert Deputy Superintendent William Smiley late Thursday afternoon, she wrote to the commissioner of police informing him that Sirjue must be charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and uttering a forged document.
Eldon Calvert was on trial along with his brother, music band operator Gleason Calvert, and Michael Heron for the 2006 murder of cookshop operator Robert Green of Salem, St James.
The prosecution was relying on the statement of Artley Campbell to prove its case against the three men. Campbell was shot and killed on November 13, 2006.
Sirjue wrote a statement purporting that Campbell had given the statement on November 14, 2006 but the date was subsequently altered to October 14, 2006.
During Sirjue's evidence, defence lawyers Roy Fairclough, Trevor HoLyn, Tamika Spence and Chumu Paris disclosed that they had an opinion from Beverley East, document examiner, that it was Sirjue who wrote and signed the statement.
Llewellyn then asked for an adjournment on Tuesday to get the opinion of a handwriting expert.
Yesterday, Llewellyn announced that a new policy had since been put in place that all statements to be put into evidence in cases where witnesses are dead or cannot be found will be examined by the handwriting expert.
Justice Gloria Smith also called for legislation or rules to be put in place for the defence to make disclosure to the prosecution when expert witnesses are to be called. She said disclosure should be made at case management.
Fairclough called for all cases involving Sirjue to be examined. Sirjue was the supervisor at the Montego Bay CIB for former Detective Constable Carey Lyn-Sue who had pleaded guilty in relation to writing a false witness statement. He was sent to prison for attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Eldon Calvert and Michael Heron were remanded until February 8 because there is another murder charge against them.
"Justice has been served," Gleason Calvert remarked after he was freed.