Senior cop wails after being freed of a corruption charge
Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
SUPERINTENDENT HARRY 'Bungles' Daley wept uncontrollably yesterday in the Court of Appeal when he heard the decision that he was freed of a corruption charge.
"People think I have money, but I have been suffering for the last four and a half years," he said amid tears.
Bungles was convicted and sentenced in 2009 to 18 months' imprisonment. He was on bail pending the outcome of his appeal.
Attorneys-at-law Valerie Neita Robertson and Deborah Martin, who represented Daley, had argued that Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey erred at the trial by allowing prejudicial and inadmissible evidence. The lawyers also argued that there were many discrepancies and inconsistencies in the Crown's case.
Daley was held during a sting operation on Arnold Road, Kingston, on July 31, 2008, while collecting $15,000 in marked notes from businessman Tafari Clarke.
The Crown had led evidence that the senior superintendent used his authority to bully Clarke into paying him $20,000 monthly as protection money for a plaza in Ewarton, St Catherine.
Daley said he was innocent and had said in his defence that the money was for a loan owed to him by Clarke's father who had since died. He said the loan was witnessed by a justice of the peace.
The Court of Appeal, comprising its president Justice Seymour Panton, Justice Mahadev Dukharan and Justice Norma McIntosh, had sharp criticisms in the manner in which the case against Daley was conducted.
"We found it strange that the learned senior resident magistrate rejected the evidence of both justices of the peace and accepted that of Tafari Clarke, a proven teller of false tales."
The court said the charge against Daley stated that he corruptly accepted money for offering protection to Tafari Clarke and his premises which were under threat by a "bad man" known as 'Terry'.
It was the court's finding that there was absolutely no evidence of Clarke or the premises being under threat by Terry or anyone. Clarke gave no evidence of any threat to him or the plaza, the court said.
Former Assistant Commissioner of Police Justin Felice, who was the arresting officer in the case, was criticised by the court for the manner in which a search was conducted at Daley's house. The search was done while Daley was in custody.