Evidence enough for safe conviction, says QC

| 26/08/2011

(CNS): As Andrew Radcliff, QC made his closing speech to the judge in the case against Devon Anglin for the murder of four year old Jeremiah Barnes last year, he told the court that the eye-witness evidence supported by the circumstantial evidence was powerful enough for there to be no doubt of a safe conviction. He said that while the crown’s case depended heavily on the eye witness account from Jeremiah’s parents at the Hell gas station in West Bay that night he said it also relied on the CCTV footage analysis, clothes, the grudge between Anglin and Andy Barnes, gunshot residue and the defendant’s presence in the getaway car minutes after the murder.

The crown said that the discrepancies between the eye-witness evidence of Jeremiah’s father Andy Barnes and Dorlisa Ebanks his mother and inconsistencies in the various statements they gave were not so great and easily explained. The key issue was that both Barnes and his now wife (nee) Ebanks pointed the finger at Anglin immediately and spontaneously the very night of the shooting (15 February) evidence he said that there was no concoction between them.

Radcliffe said that the defence’s attack on Barnes’ character was an “unhelpful distraction” as he said there was no evidence that he was deliberately trying to frame Anglin.

“Logically and sensibly who would want an innocent man convicted of killing one’s child while the true murder remains free?” the QC asked the court to consider.

Radcliffe noted that Barnes said he saw the gunman’s face because the defendant had not fixed his mask before he came into view. This counsel said was the most important mistake the gun man made. He said this was supported by Ebanks’ evidence as she said he was not wearing a mask at all and as she instinctively ducked down under the dash board when the shooting started it followed that she would not have seen the gunman once the mask was across his face.

The crown counsel pointed out that the two witnesses were identifying someone they both knew very well, in very good lighting conditions with an unobstructed view. When they gave their statements just two hours after the incredibly traumatic event, Radcliffe said both of them spontaneously stated that Anglin was the gunman.

In response to numerous questions from the judge about where the crown’s case would be if he was to consider the eye witness evidence “worthless” Radcliffe said he had circumstantial evidence that supported the testimony. Radcliffe disagreed when Justice Howard Cooke said that circumstantial evidence could not “support worthless” if that’s what he was to decide, as the crown counsel said the judge must look at the totality of the evidence. Radcliffe pointed out however that the evidence could not be worthless as there was no evidence that the two witnesses were lying.

However, he said the CCTV analysis and other circumstantial evidence could stand alone. Support for the crown’s case came from the clothes which Anglin was wearing at court on the morning of the killing, as well as his hairline matching those of the gunman. His presence in the proven getaway car minutes after the shooting without a top and the evidencethat he took a shower at someone else’s home very soon after the murder only yards from his own home and borrowed a shirt.

The CCTV expert had also matched the jeans, shoes and underclothes worn by Anglin to court on the morning of the shooting which was caught on CCTV by those worn by the gunman that night. Radcliffe conceded that the gunshot residue on Anglin's clothes at arrest could have come from contamination but it is also possible they did not and added to the “powerful eye witness accounts” as well as the known grudge between the men there could “be no question that it will be a safe conviction,” Radcliffe told the court.

Emphasising the quality and the certainty of the eyewitness accounts given by Jeremiah’s parents he added that the circumstantial evidence went a long way to support that evidence which he said was “the nub of the crown’s case” against Anglin.

The case continues Friday morning with a closing speech from the defence counsel before the judge retires to consider his verdict.

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