Black Immigrant Daily News
Chief Justice Bryan Sykes has suggested that prosecutors did not provide any supporting evidence to substantiate its claim that reputed leader of the One Don faction of the Clansman gang, Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan, was in police custody while conversing with his alleged cronies on cell phones.
Sykes made the pronouncement during his summation of evidence in the gang trial in which 27 defendants, including Bryan and another alleged main operative, Stephanie ‘Mumma’ Christie, are on trial for a raft of criminal offences, such as murder in some cases.
In particular, the judge made the comment as he examined the attribution of phone numbers to names of the defendants.
Previously, Sykes said some of the attributions made were accurate, based on evidence mounted by the crown.
On Thursday, the judge stated that three of the four numbers that were attributed to Bryan were found to be admissible.
A former gangster-turned-state-witness used three cell phones to record alleged members of the criminal gang.
The subsequent recordings, which were made by a call recording app that was downloaded on the phones, were played in court, with the witness explaining specific details of the conversations he had with the alleged gangsters.
The ex-gangster said Bryan was in police custody at the time he was engaged in cell phone conversations with his purported cronies.
Call data recordings were subsequently extracted from cell phones, as well as cell site analysis presented by a policeman who matched the numbers to particular cell sites and their specific geographic locations.
The numbers allegedly linked to Bryan were said to be used in the proximity of the Central Police Station lockup in downtown Kingston.
However, Sykes said there was no evidence provided to substantiate that Bryan was being held at that particular lockup between January to August 2019.
According to the chief jurist, the alleged gang leader could have been at any location in the general area.
“The attribution of numbers to Bryan doesn’t inevitably mean that Bryan was there,” Sykes remarked.
Defendant Jason ‘City Puss’ Brown was also accused of being involved in cell phone conversations with alleged gangsters while being incarcerated at Horizon Remand Centre in St Andrew.
Sykes informed that the only evidence presented to support the suggestion that Brown was, in fact, detained at the correctional facility at the time, was the visit of a police witness to the facility.
But even with that evidence, the judge said no records were presented by the prosecution to substantiate such a visit.
Still, Sykes said despite the absence of supporting evidence, the cell site analysis from the police witness survived scrutiny, as there was nothing to undermine his findings relative to Brown.
Meanwhile, the judge said the numbers and names of the defendants that were found in the contacts of the three cell phones used by the former gangster must have some impact on his (the witness’) credibility.
Sykes suggested that the only explanation to having the numbers and names stored would be the witness’ claim that he had many conversations with the defendants.
“It is not as if the witness put his eyes towards the heavens and said, ‘Reveal to me oh Father, the numbers that could be attributed to people I’m associated with, (and) create call records that show connections’,” Sykes stated.
He added that the defence did not address the evidence relative to that aspect of the case in any serious way.
The judge noted that the evidence that was presented by the prosecution suggested that the numbers that were attributed to the former gangsters were active.
Meantime, Sykes pointed to the subscriber information from the telecommunication providers, arguing that it was useless to meet the required legal standard.
The accused are being tried under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations Act), 2014, better known as the anti-gang legislation, on an indictment containing several counts, including murder and arson.
The offences were allegedly committed between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2019, mainly in St Catherine, with at least one murder being committed in St Andrew.