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Fabricated evidence frees man on ammo rap

Published:Thursday | September 11, 2014 | 9:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

THE PROSECUTION was forced on Tuesday to offer no evidence against 25-year-old David Clarke of Riverton City, Kingston 11, after it was discovered that the police fabricated evidence against him.

Clarke was freed of illegal possession of 14 rounds of ammunition when he appeared in the Gun Court.

Statements were written by two policemen that Clarke, also called 'Bigga', was searched in Riverton City on September 15, 2011. A magazine containing 14 rounds of ammunition was found in his trousers pocket.

Several policemen who were at court on Tuesday expressed disapproval that Clarke was framed.

"This is very embarrassing to the force," one of them remarked.

Justice Leighton Pusey suggested that the matter be reported to the Independent Commission of Investigations. The judge queried whether the director of public prosecutions (DPP) was going to take action in relation to the matter.

Attorneys-at-law Bert Samuels and Michael Howell, who represented Clarke, explained that their client had always maintained his innocence. Clarke spent more than a month in custody before he was granted bail.

contradictions in report

Samuels disclosed that Clarke was taken into custody during a patrol by members of the security forces. He said, three weeks ago, he wrote to Colonel Patrick Cole of the Jamaica Defence Force requesting the report filed by the soldiers. Colonel Cole sent the report to the DPP.

Samuels said he asked the DPP for disclosure of the statement and discovered that the report contradicted the police reports.

The soldier who gave the report stated that a man was seen showing a firearm and the magazine to three men. When the man spotted the patrol party, he ran into bushes and, while running, the magazine fell. The man escaped and the soldier said he went and picked up the magazine and handed it over to the police. The soldier said he witnessed when the police searched the three men, and no magazine was found on them. The three men were taken to the Hunts Bay Police Station.

barbara.gayle@gleanerjm.com