Witness certain on ID of brother’s shooter

| 08/08/2013

(CNS): Following the faltering evidence of one of the crown’s key witnesses during the murder trial of Tareek Ricketts this week, the victim’s brother told the jury that he had seen the gunman clearly and knew it was Ricketts. Che Rainford, whose brother Jackson Rainford was killed in December last year, testified that while he was seated in his car, Ricketts approached him and his brother angrily before shooting Jackson three times. Rainford said he was chased along Shedden Road after being shot at by the same gunman. The witness said he saw the shooter and had even given a picture of Ricketts to the police, as the photograph was on the dresser of his brother's ex-wife, who had been dating the man accused of the murder.

As the crown advanced its case that Ricketts was the gunman in a killing motivated by anger and jealousy as a result of a web of shared relationships between the defendant and the deceased with two women, Rainford told the court that he saw the features of the killer and knew exactly who he was.

Ricketts was understood to be dating Jackson Rainford’s estranged wife after she had left him. To complicate the relationships further, Rainford had now befriended Ricketts’ former partner and the mother of his children, fuelling the anger and jealousy between the two men, the crown claims.

On the night of the shooting, Che Rainford described how he and his brother were sitting in his car when Ricketts angrily approached them and opened fire. He was also shot at and he said that Ricketts had chased him along Sheddon Road. The witness told the court how he had made several attempts to stop passing cars and was able to stop a pickup truck. He then used the driver’s cell phone to call the emergency services.

Rainford then returned to his brother after the shooter had left the scene. He told his brother that he was going to take him to the hospital. On the way to get medical attention, he stopped a passing police car and the officers assisted in caring for his wounded brother before they arrived at the Cayman Islands Hospital, Rainford told the court.

Rainford is expected to complete his evidence in chief Thursday morning before the defence begins cross examination in Grand Court One.

The defence will be seeking to raise doubt regarding Rainford’s identification as Ricketts has denied being the killer and is mounting a defence based on mistaken identity. That position was bolstered earlier in the week when another key witness in the crown’s case, Terina Tomlinson, Ricketts' former girlfriend, dramatically admitted during cross examination that she had doubts about who she saw shooting at her new friend in December last year.

She suggested it could have been another man whom had often been mistaken for her former lover and children’s father but she had not formally retracted her statement as she thought people would not believe her.

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