CJ considers Anglin’s fate

| 15/12/2011

devon.JPG(CNS): The chief justice now holds the fate of 26-year-old Devon Anglin in his hands after hearing all of the evidence against the West Bay man who is accused of murdering Carlos Webster in the Next Level Nightclub in September 2009. Anglin's case was heard by judge alone and he must now await the decision of the country's most senior judge who said Thursday that he would take time to consider his verdict but did not reveal when he expected to deliver the ruling. Anthony Smellie dismissed the no case submission submitted by the defence team Thursday morning, stating that he believed the crown had made a case against the defendant that could on one view of the evidence be properly considered.

However, following the judge’s ruling Anglin did not take the stand and called no witnesses in his defence, leaving his lawyer to make submissions in a closing speech on his behalf.

The crown’s case depends heavily on the evidence of two anonymous witnesses, whose identities remained under wraps throughout the trial. Although the judge was able to see and hear the witnesses via video link and head phones, the rest of the court only heard the witnesses via a distorted audio link.

The first witness stated that they had seen Anglin pull a gun from the waist band of his pants and shoot Webster near to the bathrooms in the crowded nightclub. The second witness said they did not see the actual shooting but saw the defendant standing close to Webster a few seconds before he heard shots and before he turned a few seconds later to see the defendant head towards the exit holding a gun, which he was pushing into the waist of his pants.

In her closing statement the director of public prosecutions, Cheryll Richards QC, told the judge that with the evidence of the two anonymous witnesses together with corroborating evidence from the CCTV, the crown had proved that the accused was the gunman who shot and killed Webster that night. Richards said the expert evidence, along with the  eyewitnesses together with the circumstantial evidence presented a cogent and compelling case that proved the charges against the defendant.

The inconsistencies between the witnesses and the CCTV and the errors they made in recollection were not sufficient to undermine the entirety of their evidence, the DPP said, as they were not material. She also told the court that there was no evidence or motive for either of the anonymous witnesses to lie.

Anglin’s defence attorney, Dorian Lovell-Pank QC, however, stated that the inconsistencies were material and so much so that the judge could not safely convict his client. He said the crown had presented serious inconsistencies in its evidence that undermined the integrity of its own case. The prosecution was arbitrarily selecting from the evidence to suit its own theories of what could have happened that night, he added.

The lawyer said the only question that the judge had to consider was whether the gunman was Devon Anglin or not.  He said that while it was not contested that his client was in the club that night, it was contested that he was the man on the CCTV who the crown contends was the gunman.

The crown had presented such contradictory evidence which was so unreliable that no court could feel sure that the defendant, Anglin, has been identified as the man who shot Carlos Webster, Lovell-Pank said. If the court were to apply the proper intellectual rigour, he said, the only proper verdict it could return would be one of not guilty.

On hearing both closing statements, the judge said he would now need time to consider the verdict on the three counts with which the defendant is charged. Alongside the charge for the murder of Webster and possession of an unlicensed firearm, Anglin is also charged with the attempted murder of Christopher Solomon, who was hit in the stomach by a bullet that the prosecution believe passed through Webster’s forearm. Webster was killed by a bullet wound to the head but the gunman fired at him three times in the crowded nightclub at around 1:30 in the morning of 10 September 2009.

Category: Crime

Comments are closed.