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Murder convict loses 13-year fight to quash verdict

Published:Tuesday | August 11, 2015 | 12:30 PMBarbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

After a 13-year legal fight, murder convict Omar Neil has failed in his bid to have the court hear fresh evidence to overturn his conviction and sentence.

The Court of Appeal has found that the fresh evidence a witness had given on his behalf was not believable.

The witness, who had testified at Neil’s trial in the Home Circuit Court in December 1999, said that she saw Neil and other men shoot and kill Veronica Nation on September 14, 1997.

She also said she knew the men before.

Neil was sentenced to life imprisonment and was ordered to serve 20 years before he becomes eligible for parole.

He appealed and in December 2002 the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal.

Neil then filed a petition to the Governor General seeking to adduce fresh evidence from the same witness who had testified at his trial.

The matter was sent to the Court of Appeal and the court heard fresh evidence in June 2015 from the witness who said that she did not see Neil shoot the deceased.

She told the court that she was threatened by a known gunman to testify that Neil was involved in the shooting.

The witness further said the gunmen died two years ago and that’s why she came forward now.

However, the appeals court said it did not believe her testimony given the discrepancies in her evidence and a statement given to the Public Defender.