3 out of 4 guilty in robbery

| 23/10/2013

(CNS) Full report: A visiting judge found three out of four accused men guilty as he delivered his verdict Wednesday afternoon in the case of the WestStar TV offices robbery in May 2012, which he heard without a jury. Justice Alistair Malcolm acquitted a fourth man. Finding David Tamassa and Andre Burton guilty of robbery and possession of an imitation firearm, the judge also said that Ryan Edwards was guilty of aiding and abetting the robbery because he supplied the getaway car. George Mignot was acquitted by the judge on all charges, though he did not walk free because he had been previously convicted, along with the same men with whom he shared the dock in this case, for the CNB robbery, which occurred a month after the WestStar hold-up. He remains on remand. 

Local attorney Nick Hoffman representing Mignot had argued that his client couldn’t have been involved in the robbery because the cell site evidence was inconsistent with the account given by the crown's key witness. Marlon Dillon had told the court that Mignot was travelling with him along with Burton and Tamassa to the robbery but cell site results shows Mignot's cellphone was locked to a different location.The judge told the court that he could not be sure of the alleged involvement of Mignot. Due to the lack of evidence he was unable to convict the defendant on the charges against him.

Despite the multiple inconsistencies in Dillon's testimony, the judge was convinced that Tamassa was the organizer of the heist. Dillon also gave evidence that he learned about the robbery on the day it was executed when he returned from a trip to Jamaica. He told the court that he had seen missed calls from Tamassa and was asked to call him back urgently. When reviewing the call history, there was no evidence of any calls being made to Dillon's phone that morning. The judge said that he believed Dillon could not have known where Tamassa and Burton were that day unless he was with them as suggested.

The court heard Justice Malcolm say that he has taken into account that "a lie constantly told does not become the truth" but that he was satisfied with the evidence that Ryan Edwards had assisted in the robbery by providing the Mitsubishi RVR used as a getaway vehicle.
The judge accepted the evidence by the previous owner of the vehicle who had said that a Jamaican man who owns a mobile car wash van had bought the vehicle from him around 3 months before the robbery had taken place.

Although Edwards had already made confessions to being involved in the crime he claims that his three co-defendants were not his accomplices. The Jamaican national said in his police statements that he and Dillon were accompanied by two other Jamaican men who had escaped by canoe after the robbery. But the judge took into account that witnesses had described the robbers to have Caymanian accent and found Edwards guilty.

The three men are scheduled to be sentenced for the Cayman National Bank robbery on Friday along with their co-defendant Rennie Cole.

Check back to CNS later for a full report.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    19:06 they might be real but they are not caymanian , having citizenship will never change where  you are from, they are born Jamaicans.

  2. Anonymous says:

    With this outcome it proves that a conviction is not a pipe dream but can hecole reality. Great work on all departments. This is a true measurable success. Not lip service. This is a real positive result. As far as the Mr. BUSH case time has proven to be a defenses friend. If a proceed can be dragged on for years this is in the defendents best intrest. However this is allowed for in our legal system and justice is for all.

  3. Foreign Devil says:

    Two birds one stone, well doneJudiciary. And I know that Andre guy, a lovely fellow, but apparently a big thief! 

  4. Anonymous says:

    So what changed to get these sort of results? Whatever happened, keep doing it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    i bet they get 18 years! taking bets now . 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great work on this incident and outcome. The system works when intelligence is driving the bus. This outcome needs to be mirrored as there are grave social issues that are the root cause of our problems.

    • Anonymous says:

      How many real Cayman Criminals, or importers?  Just curious.  It has been sometime since I have read a gazette an saw an exculsion order.  Is this real?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Great work getting convictions in just over a year. Why can't we get McKeeva tried in the same timeframe?

    • Anonymous says:

      The last delay from March, 2014 to Sept. 2014 was at the request of McKeeva's lawyers. 

      • Anonymous says:

        It was at their request but the Court didn't have to say yes! If he is too busy in March 2014 they should have brought it forward. XXXX Plus, the man is the leader of the opposition! Doesn't the public interest demand that he be removed from office, or have his name cleared so he can do his job properly, rather than limping along under a cloud of suspicion?

      • Anonymous says:

        If the system can be abused to allow such delays, it will. Now a defense must be given proper time to prepare, as must prosecution, but damn, how many years???? Should be no more than 1 year max, the rest is pure BS designed to let people forget, possibly intimidate.

        There has to be a new law, any politician being prosecuted has to stand down until proven not guilty. This would also speed up the process as certain people would want to try and get back to the trough quickly.