Key witness recalls confession

| 25/07/2014

(CNS): Marlon Dillon, the crown’s key witness in the Robert Macford Bush murder trial, surprised the court by introducing details that he had not previously given in any statement to the police or at the pre-trial preparation with the prosecution a week ago, adding information (or, as the defence maintained, embellishing the lie) to his claims that Brian Borden told him that he had murdered Bush, and David Tomasa had confessed to him that he had supplied the ammunition for the murder. On Wednesday he added to his expected testimony, as laid out by prosecutor Andrew Radcliffe, QC, in his opening statement, and said that Borden had also told him that after the murder he had run home, hidden both the shotgun and the handgun used to shoot Bush and then had taken a shower with bleach to wash off the gunshot residue in case he was picked up by the police.

When he took the stand on Wednesday, Dillon also said, as he recounted Borden’s alleged confession, that Borden had told him that the funeral home which dealt with the body of Robert Bush had stuffed his face with cotton wool because part of it had been blown off by the shotgun.

Challenging him on this new information, Trevor Burke, QC, heading the defence for Brian Borden, asked him, if this was true, how could he possibly have forgotten it? When pressed, Dillon said he had remembered these new details on the 18 or 19 July 2014, a few days before the trial started, but could not explain why he had not remembered it before or why, having suddenly remembered he did not make an effort to make a new official statement.

Dillon was arrested for the CNB robbery on 28 June 2012, the same day the robbery took place, and is currently awaiting sentencing for his part in that crime and for the WestStar robbery, which took place on 24 May 2012. He gave evidence in court against his co-conspirators in both trials, and Burke suggested that his motive in giving evidence in this trial was to have his sentence further reduced.

In his witness testimony, Dillon said that as they entered the junction of Birch Tree Hill Road and Capts Joe and Osbert Road while he and Tomasa were driving Borden home, Borden had said, “You know where this is? This is the Birch Tree Hill Cemetary,” and pointed to the wall. “This is where we mash up that M**** F**** boy, Robby,” he recalled him saying.

Dillon gave a number of statements to the police following his arrest, but the first time he said that Brian Borden had confessed to him about killing Bush was on 10 July 2012. At this time, he said that the confession had happened about February or March 2012, though this recollection was changed last week during the pre-trial preparations to a precise date of 4 January 2012, as Dillon said he had been “sitting in his cell, gathering his thoughts”.

Two days after this statement, on 12 July 2012, he added the detail that just before the murder a cousin of Borden in Daisy Lane had communicated to him in some way that Robert Bush was on his way. Under cross-examination by John Ryder, QC, leading the defence for David Tomasa, Dillon explained that the purpose of the second statement was to clarify the first statement as he had had two days to think about it.

In that statement, Dillon said that as he drove, he and Tomasa listened to Brian Borden talk about shooting Bush as they were driving past the crime scene. But it was not until a further statement six weeks later, on 24 August, that Dillon said that Tomasa had also confessed to him his part in the murder after they had dropped Borden home and the two of them were driving back to Tomasa’s home.

Ryder questioned Dillon about telling police in the second statement that he and Tomasa had sat in silence and did not ask Borden any questions while he described his crime. “Did that not remind you that David had said something about the bullets?” he asked, but Dillon’s response was evasive.

Tomasa’s defence lawyer also reminded Dillon that the whole purpose of the 12 July statement was to clarify the one made two days earlier, and the reason he had given the police for not mentioning Tomasa’s confession was that he had been focused on Brian Borden.

In that statement he had said that he had heard that Mayra Ebanks was in the car at the time of the murder from other people on the street, but he couldn’t remember who told him. However, in the August statement he said that Borden told him this fact.

“It is plainly not the case that you were simply concentrating on what Brian Borden said to you,” Ryder said.

Justice Alex Henderson is hearing the case in a judge-alone trial.

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