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Secretary in Playfair murder case released from prison

Published: Thursday January 3, 2013 | 10:41 am Comments 0
Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn - File.
Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn - File.

Barbara Gayle, Justice Cordinator

Annette Livingston, the 53-year-old legal secretary, who was convicted in 2003 of the murder of prominent Kingston attorney-at-law Shirley Playfair has been released from prison.

She was released on Christmas Eve based on the initiative taken by Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn.

Llewellyn took action after receiving an email from her lawyers in England with a copy of the official order from Buckingham Palace for Livingston's immediate release.

Although the procedure is for the Court of Appeal Registry to send the official documents to the prison authority, Llewellyn explained that because of the urgency of the matter, when she accessed her email on Christmas Eve and saw correspondence from her lawyers in London with the copy of the official order she decided to act on them.

Llewellyn told The Gleaner today that on receiving the email, she wrote a covering letter to the correctional service and enclosed a copy of the order for Livingston's immediate release.

She said she also sent copies of the documents to the Court of Appeal Registry.

She said yesterday she received through the mail the official order for Livingstone's release.

Livingston was convicted in 2003 along with two men for Playfair's murder in April 2000. She had been in custody since 2000.

On October 22, last year, the United Kingdom-based Privy Council overturned her conviction and remitted the case to the Jamaican authorities for a decision to be made within 28 days as to whether she should face a retrial.

The DPP decided that she should not be tried again and communicated the information to the Privy Council in early November last year.

Livingston, of Buff Bay, Portland, was Playfair's trusted assistant and had worked with her for 17 years.

Ramone Drysdale, 33, and 61-year-old taxi driver Ashley Ricketts, both of Kingston addresses were also convicted of the murder.

The Court of Appeal set aside Ricketts' conviction and substituted a conviction for manslaughter.

The men are in prison serving their sentence.

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barbara.gayle@gleanerjm.com

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