QC fights for re-trial over murder of child

| 31/07/2013

(CNS): Andrew Radcliff, QC, (left) spent most of Tuesday on his feet fighting for a re-trial in the case against Devon Anglin for the murder of 4-year-old Jeremiah Barnes in February 2010 at a West Bay gas station. Anglin was acquitted in August 2011 by a visiting judge. Radcliff, a UK-based attorney who regularly works for Cayman's director of public prosecutions, has to persuade the appeal court that the judge erred not in fact but on a point of law before the three-judge panel will entertain the possibility of trying a man twice for murder.

Although legislation was changed to facilitate the concept of double jeopardy for the crown in a judge-alone trial, it can only occur if the judge got the law wrong and not as a result of his interpretation of the evidence.

Radcliffe is seeking to persuade the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal that the crown should be allowed to try Anglin again because the judge misdirected himself when he completely rejected the evidence of the crown’s two principal witnesses — Jeremiah's mother Dorlissaand his father Andy Barnes, who was believed to have been the gunman's target.

The QC argued that the judge had done so after only considering their evidence separately and apart and not explaining why he had rejected outright their testimony when there was no question that the couple were lying, only the possibility of them being mistaken in part, which would account for discrepancies.

Radcliffe is hoping to persuade the panel that this decision by Justice Cooke, the trial judge, to reject it completely without seeking to see if their evidence had support for each other or had other supporting evidence was wrong in law and that he was duty bound to look at the totality of the evidence in the round and not as separate “hermetically sealed” parts of the case.

The judge had concluded that the witness of truth was a gas station attendant, who described the gunman as wearing a Halloween mask, which CCTV footage shown in the court clearly demonstrated was not in fact the case and, as described by both the parents, the shooter was wearing a bandana. However, when compressed in the gas station store’s VT unit, the tape would appear to show something like a costume mask, experts had stated.

The appeal continues in Court 2 Tuesday morning, when Anglin’s legal team will fight to protect their client from having to face a second trial for a murder which he denies committing and for which he has already been found not guilty.

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