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Judge blasts cops in kidnapping case

Published:Friday | February 5, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

Supreme Court judge Leighton Pusey on Wednesday castigated the police for their failure to sew together a coherent case in the matter of the four persons charged with the alleged kidnapping last month of a St Ann businessman.

The judge said he was giving the prosecution one more week to put all relevant material before the court.

"I can't believe that a police department, which is supposed to do serious investigations, can't put a coherent case before the court," the judge said.

Pusey pointed out that the Crown was not able, at this stage, to provide details about the involvement of each accused.

Defence lawyers Norma Linton, QC, Arlene Harrison-Henry, Michael Thomas and Xavier Mayne voiced disapproval that they had wasted valuable time Wednesday, waiting for more than an hour for the accused to be taken to the Gun Court.

Bail applications were made for the alleged kidnappers, but only one of them was granted bail. The four are scheduled to return to court on February 10.

Granting bail

Nickesha Whyte, who is being represented by Harrison-Henry, was granted bail in the sum of $150,000, with one or two sureties. The judge said that based on the seriousness of the allegations - and indications that kidnappings were on the increase - he could not grant bail to the others.

The other accused are Aldane Jackson, Andrew Dillon and Trevorlyn Rowe, a woman.

It has been alleged that on January 13, a woman approached the complainant, who operates a locksmith business in St Ann, and asked him to unlock a motor car door. While he was walking towards the car, a man brandished a gun and ordered him into the vehicle.

The four allegedly blindfolded the man and took him to a location where he was held for several days. A demand was made for a ransom of $5 million.

The police set up a sting operation in which one of the alleged kidnappers was held. Further investigations led to the arrests of the other three accused.