Crown loses gun trial over lack of evidence

| 08/02/2013

IMG_6250 (269x300).jpg(CNS): The crown’s decision to press ahead and try Osbourne Douglas over charges for an unlicensed firearm proved to be a mistake this week after Justice Alex Henderson accepted a no case submission by his attorney on Tuesday. The judge directed a jury to find the George Town man not guilty, stating that the DNA evidence presented by the crown was not sufficient to prove that the defendant had ever possessed the gun. Douglas’s original co-defendant, Roger Moore, had already pleaded guilty to possession of the weapon last week as it had fallen out of his pants leg in front of a police officer during a roadside stop and search last August.

The only evidence linking Douglas to the gun was some questionable DNA and the fact that he was in the car with Moore when the police pulled it over and conducted a search, which led to the loaded gun’s recovery. However, the crown had pressed ahead with the possession case against Douglas, who denied any knowledge that his friend was armed and denied ever being in possession of the weapon.

Douglas’s attorney, Fiona Robertson of Samson McGrath, argued that the DNA was insufficient to convict her client and that, given the circumstances of the incident and the search, when Douglas was accused by police of attempting to grab the gun when it fell out of his friend’s pants leg, there were numerous opportunities for transfer.

Douglas was not charged with possession of the .38 automatic pistol until several weeks after the night of the search and after the weapon was subjected to forensic testing and a match was made with the George Town man.

Following submissions made by Robertson, the judge threw out the case as he said there were many ways that Douglas’s DNA could have made it on to the weapon without him having possession of it. Justice Henderson found that a jury properly directed could not convict on the evidence presented by the crown given its weakness, and he told the jury that, according to the law, they must find Douglas not guilty. The jury complied and acquitted the George Town man. 

Douglas, who has been on remand since his arrest last year, eventually walked free after he was bailed on an outstanding Summary Court matter.

Meanwhile, Moore, who has admitted possession, is now awaiting sentencing and faces a minimum of seven years for his possession of the loaded gun.

Related article:

11th hour plea by gunman

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Category: Crime

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    XXXX  This youngman in particular is just a scapegoat for the RCIP to say that they are doing their job. He will forever be targated and labelled likewise the rest of the young Caymanians that made mistakes.   

  2. Anonymous says:

    No surprises RCIPS!!

    At least your tasers will now give you some immediate gratification (and lawsuits)!

  3. Anonymous says:

    uh-oh spaghettios……..