Crown accused of delaying justice

| 23/07/2012

court good.jpg(CNS): The cases involving two different gangs of men accused of being involved in recent bank robberies ground to a halt on Friday when defence attorneys accused the crown of delaying the process after it failed to review indictments or supply evidence against the suspects. The three men accused of conspiracy in the Scotiabank robbery were set to enter their pleas to the charges on Friday morning, however the failure of the crown to address problems previously highlight by the Grand Court resulted in the case being adjourned. Although on bail, Christopher Myles, Kevin Bowen and James McLean have not yet answered the charges against them.

Speaking on behalf of the group, defence attorney Nick Hoffman told the court that issues had already been raised previously before a Grand Court judge that the crown’s indictment against the three men was not properly drafted and needed to be reviewed. However, he said, since then “nothing at all had been done” by the public prosecutions office.

The presiding judge, Justice Paulette Williams, said she hoped that the delay was for the benefit of the defendants as she adjourned the case for two weeks. The three men are charged with conspiracy to rob the downtown branch of Scotiabank in May.

The daylight heist took place around 11:45am at the Cardinal Avenue branch of the bank. Three masked men, two of whom were armed with were believed to be guns, threatened staff and customers and fled with a sum of cash in a getaway vehicle waiting directly outside the bank. Police found the car abandoned in Bronze Road a short time after the robbery and the men were all arrested and charged around six weeks later.

Meanwhile, the case against the four men charged with robbing the Buckingham Square branch of Cayman National Bank last month as well as the WestStar TV customer service centre in May also failed to advance as a result of the crown’s failure to supply critical information. Hoffman described the situation as “unacceptable” as all four men are currently remanded in custody, and without the details of the case against their clients none of the criminal defence attorneys involved could make bail applications for their clients.

The defence attorneys raised concerned that fundamental documents were missing and the indictments were only served on Thursday, less than 24 hours before the men were due to appear in the Grand Court.

The case against the men is based on the evidence of another man who has been charged separately with being involved in the crime, in which the robbers were said to have stolen $500,000 in another daylight bank job at around 9:40am in the morning of Thursday 28 June.

The judge adjourned the case against David Tomassa, Andre Burton, George Mignott and Rennie Cole until Tuesday morning and ordered the prosecution to disclose the necessary documents to the accused men’s attorneys so they could make their bail application.

Category: Crime

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