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Court reserves decision on 'Zekes'

Published:Saturday | January 16, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

THE COURT of Appeal on Thursday reserved its decision in the appeal brought by former Matthews Lane strongman Donald 'Zekes' Phipps after hearing legal arguments that his constitutional rights were breached during his double-murder trial.

Deputy Solicitor General Lackston Robinson has challenged the constitutional point and is to give written submissions to the court within the next two weeks.Evidence was given at the trial that two cellular phones, one belonging to Phipps and the other to one of the deceased men, were used to make calls at the location where the crimes were committed. Frank Phipps, QC, and Kathryn Phipps (no relation to the appellant) who are representing Phipps have argued that the evidence led in relation to the telephone conversations and the data were in violation of the Interception of Communication Act.

The lawyers argued that the evidence was admitted in breach of Phipps' constitutional right to freedom from inference with his means of communication that was protected by Section 22 (1) of the Jamaica Constitution. Phipps was convicted in the Home Circuit Court in April 2006 of the murder of Leroy Rodney Farquharson and Dayton Williams, both of Bayshore Park, east Kingston.

He was sentenced on May 30, 2006 to life imprisonment on each count. In addition, he was ordered to serve 30 years before he could be eligible for parole.

Prosecutor Jeremy Taylor argued that there were no breaches at the trial and the convictions should be upheld.