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Appeal court releases mechanic facing 17 years

Published:Monday | February 22, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

A man who was sentenced in December 2006 to 17 years' imprisonment was freed this week after the Court of Appeal upheld submissions by attorney-at-law Oswest Senior Smith that the judge failed to make specific findings on the conflicts in the case.

Ramardo Facey, 23, apprentice mechanic of a Kingston 11 address, had spent three years in prison before his appeal was heard.

Facey was convicted in the St Ann Circuit Court on charges of illegal possession of firearm and robbery with aggravation.

A St Ann businessman had testified that at about 9:20 p.m. on September 24, 2005, he and his family were leaving home when two gunmen attacked them. He said the men forced him back into the house and robbed him of $52,000 worth of phone cards.

The police said that about 5:30 a.m. on September 25, 2005, they saw Facey and two other men on the road and took them to the Claremont Police Station, St Ann. The police said when they arrived at the police station, it was before 6 a.m. and the complainant, who was there at the time, identified the men as the ones who had robbed him.

The complainant said in his evidence that he went to the police station after 7 a.m. and, while there, Facey and the other men were brought in and he identified them.

One of the men was acquitted at the trial while Facey and the other man were convicted. The other man did not appeal.

No-case submission

Senior Smith asked the Court of Appeal to free Facey because the identification was obtained by means of confrontation, and the trial judge should have acceded to the no-case submission. He said the judge, in his summation, did not resolve the difference in the time as to when the men were pointed out, and did not make a specific finding of fact to say that confrontation did not take place.

He submitted that the conviction could not stand because the identification would have amounted to dock identification in the circumstances.

The Crown agreed with the submissions and asked for a retrial which was not granted.