Police accused of withholding evidence in murder trial

| 09/12/2009

(CNS): Defence counsel for Randy Martin has raised the concern that the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service may have been withholding important evidence from the investigations relating to the murder of 21-year-old Sabrina Schirn. As legal wrangling continued over phone records and intelligence reports between the legal teams during the trial in which Martin is accused of murder, New 27 reports that Adam King and David Evans QC, said crucial information has been trickling in at the last minute and they believe that there is other information which has not been disclosed.

The defence lawyers told the judge, Justice Charles Quinn, who is hearing the case alone, that failure to disclose unused material could lead to a miscarriage of justice and unsafe convictions, and if police are withholding any evidence they need to be told to desist.

Martin’s defence team believe that the missing evidence will show someone other than Randy Martin could be the murderer. The defence is now seeking to have admitted that it has raised concerns that, as well as phone records arriving late, other information has not been revealed to the crown or themselves. Evans said he found it hard to believe there were only two police notebooks, which are around ten pages each, that hold all the details of this investigation.

News 27 reported that crown counsel Cheryll Richards has admitted that information has been slow to come in and says her office will seek to address the issue and take it up with police. However, she said she was hesitant to believe the police were purposefully holding back items, but rather it was the process of a continuing disclosure exercise and it might just be a question of whether the material was relevant. 

Justice Quinn called it drip-drip disclosure, the television station reported, adding that the late information makes it difficult to understand all the relevant facts.

The trial resumes at 10:00am on Wednesday morning (9 December), when the prosecution and the defence will argue the points of the phone evidence before Justice Quin, who will make the decision as to what evidence can be admitted.

Go to News 27 video

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