Judge follows robbers’ route in WestStar trial

| 07/10/2013

(CNS): Visiting Grand Court judge Justice Alastair Malcolm, QC, who is presiding over the trial of four men accused of robbing the local TV cable company in May last year, left the confines of the courtroom last week to examine the route taken by the robbers, as recorded on the government’s CCTV footage. The judge was invited to see how the suspects got to the crime scene so he would be in a better position to assess the evidence from a witness, who the defendants' attorneys say has lied about the involvement of their clients. The four defendants also travelled with the judge, defence and crown attorneys and other support staff Friday ahead of the main witness taking the stand.

The case has been stalled over the last few months because of significant legal arguments relating to witness Marlon Dillon, who says he was told about the robbery and had offered to drop the four accused men, Andre Burton, David Tamassa, George Mignot and Ryan Edwards, at the location. However, the case is expected to resume today with Dillon on the stand.

During last week’s proceedings a confession by defendant Ryan Edwards was also a source of contention among the lawyers representing his co-defendants as his testimony heavily undermines the key witness’s claims. Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Trevor Ward, QC, who is prosecuting the case, told the court that Dillon's initial account was to be the crown's case untilMay this year but he accepted that there were many discrepancies between his account and that of Edwards. Nevertheless, the crown still submits that his identification of who the robbers were is still accurate.

So far, the crown has presented a number of other witnesses, including Jay Ebanks, who was employed at WestStar at the time of the heist and who was arrested and interviewed during the investigation. During his time on the stand Ebanks admitted to knowing a fifth defendant, who is also charged in connection with the robbery but scheduled to be tried separately at a later date.

Ebanks denied receiving a $2,000 cut of the proceeds for his help in committing the theft – a crime he was never charged with. Ebanks, who is still employed by WestStar, insisted that he had nothing to do with the planning or execution of the robbery.

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