QC makes final bid to clear client of murder

| 16/08/2013

(CNS): Leading defence counsel, John Ryder, QC, stood before a twelve panel jury Thursday and pointed to inconsistencies and what he said were non-supporting facts in the case against his 22-year-old client, Tareek Ricketts, who stands accused of murdering Jackson Rainford on Shedden Road last December. Ryder told the jury that the defendant had bucked the trend of those accused of serious crimes not giving evidence before the court and had seized the opportunity to share his account of what happened the night of the murder. Ryder asked the jury to think why would Ricketts want to kill Jackson when he knew his former lover had been out with other men. He also pointed to the change in her evidence in the court that the father of her children may not have been the man she saw shoot her friend Rainford.

Ryder justified lies that Ricketts told his former girlfriend, Tarina Tomlinson, because he was concerned she would give untruthful evidence against him and get him "a life sentence" as a result .But the lawyer said his client had never told her what to say during her testimony but was simply trying to sway her mind to telling the truth, as identified by the defendant.

He also read a message to the jury which was sent to Ricketts' mother by Tomlinson stating that she had significant doubts that it was Ricketts who had shot and killed Rainford as he sat in the passenger seat on his brother's car. Ryder pointed out that although there is nothing to support the idea that Ricketts' former friend Dale Vernon had any involvement in the matter, his fleeing the scene and then leaving the island just two weeks after the murder were quite suspicious.

Finishing his argument on behalf of Ricketts, who claims that the case is one of mistaken identity, the senior counsel suggested that the times Ricketts' vehicle was recorded on the CCTV in George Town made it impossible for his client to have had the time to destroy any evidence or links to his alleged involvement in the killing.

Following the closing submissions, in which Ryder sought to raise reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury that Rickets, a former IT technician with a local firm and a man of no previous convictions, the presiding judge, Justice Alex Henderson, was expected to sum up for the jury Friday morning.

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