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Appeal court frees man convicted for gun offence

Published:Friday | March 12, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

The Court of Appeal has freed 25-year-old Denhue Harvey, apprentice welder of Red Hills Road, St Andrew, who was sentenced in July 2008 to 12 years' imprisonment for gun offences.

Defence lawyer Everton Bird argued that Harvey's conviction should be overturned because the judge erred on the facts and applied the wrong principle of law in arriving at the verdict.

Harvey was convicted in the Gun Court on charges of illegal possession of firearm, shooting with intent, and assault.

Bird submitted in the Court of Appeal that the credibility of the two purported eyewitnesses was destroyed during evidence in chief and under cross-examination.

He referred to sections of the evidence in which the complainant said in a statement to the police that when she was at the gate with her mother she felt something against her ear and heard a clicking sound. When she turned around, she saw the accused, whom she knew as Eddie. He had a gun in his hand and pointed it at her. She thought she was going to die so she ran off on to Red Hills Road, and when she reached the entrance of Red Hills Lane she looked back and saw Eddie and her mother wrestling.

Bird pointed out that the complainant had said under cross-examination that when she ran off she heard a gunshot but did not know if Eddie was firing at her. Bird asked the court to find that the complainant was a discredited witness and her evidence was not reliable. He said it was open to the Court of Appeal to reverse the findings of the judge in relation to the credibility of that witness.

Evidence should be rejected

He argued that if the court rejected the evidence relating to the shooting with intent charge, it should be disregarded in its entirety. Bird said the complainant's mother did not testify that Harvey shot at her daughter.

The Crown had led evidence at the trial that Harvey fired shots at the complainant on April 7, 2007.

Harvey had denied shooting at the complainant. He said in his defence that he and the complainant had a dispute, and he slapped her. He said it was after that incident that a report was made to the police that he fired shots at the complainant.