Defence claims Ming was police informant

| 28/03/2014

(CNS): The possibility that others may have wanted Damion Ming dead was raised in court Thursday, as the lawyer representing Raziel Jeffers, who is charged with his murder, probed the lead officer about Ming’s role as an informant. The question of whether or not Ming gave any evidence to police about two robberies, the suggestion that he could have had something to do with the killing of Alrick Peddie and his criminal and gang involvement were raised by the defence with police witnesses involved in the investigation. However, Malcolm Kay, the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) on thecase, was stationed on Cayman Brac before heading up the murder enquiry and knew little about Ming’s circumstances before he was killed.  

Taking the witness stand, Kay said he could not answer questions about Ming’s role as an informant as he had no dealings with him and was not on Grand Cayman for several years before he was brought back to head up the investigation. Michael Wolkind, QC, had questioned Kay about Ming’s background and queried whether or not he had given information to the police about other well-known West Bay gang members being involved in the Cayman National Bank robbery in West Bay and another at Fosters. Kay said he did not know anything about that.

The SIO acknowledged that Ming was well known to the police and accepted that he had a long rap sheet, which included drug trafficking, firearms and accessory to robbery. But the senior officer, who is now with CID in George Town, said at the time he knew little about the victim’s previous history because he had been in the Brac as head of the station there. He returned for just two months to head up the investigation, he explained, as the RCIPS was stretched to the limit at the time. As well as the Ming case, the police were dealing with a number of other killings, which were all believed to be gang related, and Kay said it was “all hands to the pump”. 

He was also unable to give Wolkind much information about comments made to officers in the immediate wake of the murder from neighbours near the scene of the crime that may have seen men dressed in black getting into a white car and speeding away. Kay said that house-to-house enquiries were conducted around the area and had anybody seen something like that he believed that the police would have followed up those leads.

One of the 14 officers who had also come to support the RCIPS from the UK took the stand via video link Thursday and spoke about her interviews with the crown’s key witness and the defendant’s former girlfriend.

She stated that the crown’s leading witness had told her on 7 May about the confession Jeffers had allegedly made about Ming’s killing and she told the officer it was the Friday morning, the day after the murder. The UK officer, one of 14 brought over to assist with the various murder enquiries, said she had not made any notes or recorded anywhere that the witness ever said the confession was made to her on the Saturday.

However, during her own evidence to the court this week, Jeffers’ former girlfriend had said she was wrong about the Friday and believed it was the Saturday that Jeffers had made his unexpected confession about killing her friend Ming.  

The UK police officer also confirmed that police were aware that Ming had reportedly sent a text message to Peddie, who was known as ‘Bling’, the day before his killing on 24 March, saying that there was only room for one ‘Bling’ on the island. This was the day before Ming was murdered on 25 March.

As the crown has now called what it expected to be its final live witness, the court is now expected to hear the admission statements Friday morning before the case against Jeffers is closed and the defence begins its response.

The case continues in Grand Court before a jury and Justice Malcolm Swift.

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