Bank robbers’ evidence scrutinized by five lawyers

| 03/05/2013

(CNS): During his cross examination, robbery accomplice and key witness Marlon Dillon was called on to justify his evidence when he faced a number of questions last week from five different defence attorneys representing the men currently on trial for the armed robbery of Cayman National Bank last June. Dillon's story and his account of the daylight heist were put to the test during a lengthy cross examination. It will be up to the twelve jurors to evaluate the co-conspirator's responses along with the evidence provided by various other witnesses before they hand down their verdict as the end of the trial.

When Dillon took the witness box, the reliability of his interviews and statements were all put to the test and as the crown’s key witnesses in the case, Dillon’s evidence will be critical to the jury’s decision. The twelve men and women heard that in his initial statement Dillon had told the police that the night before the robbery he had been abducted by a group of unknown men, who removed his clothes and threatened to kill him 

In his following statements he gave different renditions before he gave a formal police interview to Detective Constable Rachel Johnson.

The various defence counsels all pushed at the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in Dillon's statements, including the sighting of the guns used in the robbery and his recollections of the name of the 'bait', alleged to be Rennie Cole.

In one of his statements, Dillon explained that the first time he had seen the firearms to be used in the robbery was on the morning of the offence at the home of one of the five defendants, David Tamassa, in the back of his pickup truck. The statement was subsequently changed by Dillon to state that he had first seen the guns on that morning in the white Toyota Windham at the Safe Haven meeting spot.

Dillion told the court that his reason for changing the statement and having made a mistake was because he was still afraid for his life.

When questioned by the leading defence counsel for Rennie Cole, Dillon was asked how he was able to “miraculously remember” the name of the person used as the bait during the robbery shortly after DC Johnson appeared in court and witnessed Cole being charged with the offense. Dillon responded by explaining that he'd been thinking about it while in his cell and denied that he was given any assistance by the officers.

It was apparent to the court that Tamassa's name had not been mentioned as being a part of the robbery in one of Dillon's many interviews and when questioned as to why, he seemingly avoided the question and went on to comment, "David was a part of the robbery."

Whilst under cross examination, it was suggested by a few of the defence attorneys that Dillon was only repeating what he was told to say and that his evidence was "scripted" and prepared for him to tell once he was before the court. Dillon also denied this suggestion and continued to repeat his account of what happened on the morning of the robbery at the Buckingham Square branch of the bank.

Dillon said he was sure that the five men who stand in the dock were his accomplices and did not agree that he had given names of less dangerous men instead of the real culprits. However, he insisted he was still afraid for his life and those of his family, who he said were in danger from his co-conspirators.

The court heard that Dillon has been accommodated separately during his time in custody and that there has been discussion with the police about the prisoner, who has admitted his part in the crime, serving his sentence somewhere other than the Northward Prison. Dillon commented, "Why should I serve my sentence in Northward with my co-conspirators when I am cooperating with the police," he told the court.

Andre Burton, George Mignott, David Tomassa, Rennie Cole and Ryan Edwards have all denied being the men who held up the bank on the morning of on 28 June last year and stole around $500,000. Dillon has admitted his part in the crime and is still awaiting his sentencing hearing, which is expected to be dealt with following the verdict of the five men currently on trial for the robbery.

Related articles on CNS:

Witness betrayed robbers

Bank robbers stole over 500k daylight heist

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