Defence labels gang investigator an actor
Alexander Shaw, attorney for Stephanie Christie, the reputed pastor and sole female defendant in the ongoing Clansman Gang trial, has accused a retired inspector and gang investigator of fabricating evidence to secure convictions.
The accusation arose during Tuesday’s cross-examination of the 31-year veteran cop who disclosed that of his more than 300 investigations of St Catherine-based gangsters, he has only secured convictions for two.
Shaw questioned the veracity of evidence presented by the retired cop, who appeared to be annoyed by the line of argument in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.
Two dates in the statement given by the retired policeman, as well as the claim that Christie told him she was the babymother of a reputed gangster, were called into question on Tuesday.
The dates – October 12, 2017, and October 21, 2017 – were significant as the periods the policeman visited the Horizon Adult Correctional Centre, spoke with and charged Jason ‘City Puss’ Brown, as well as when he attended court and again saw City Puss.
“You never went to Horizon on the 12th of October?” Shaw said during cross-examination
“Yes, sir,” the retired cop said.
“And you are certain is the 12th of October 2017?” the attorney said.
“Based on my recollection, sir,” the police inspector said.
“And you are certain you went to court on the 21st of October 2017?”
“To the best of my recollection,” the retired cop said.
“On a Saturday?” the attorney responded, to laughter in the courtroom.
“Like I said, to the best of my recollection, I did not say on a Saturday, Sunday, or Monday,” said the retired cop.
Shaw told the former policeman that the date he testified to attending court was incorrect, as it was a Saturday.
He also told the retired policeman that his name was not recorded in the visitor’s book at Horizon, where he said he met with City Puss for the first time – for 45 minutes – before he disclosed his true identity to the accused and charged him.
“Would I be correct in saying that the visitor’s book at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre does not have you as a visitor on that day?” Shaw said.
“I was not able to say that, sir, because I don’t manage that book,” the retired cop said.
“I am suggesting to you that you have fabricated your evidence in an effort to get a conviction!” Shaw said.
“I disagree with you, sir,” said the retired policeman.
He drew the ire of the defence attorneys when he said he began listening to recordings before the time he recorded in his statement.
When asked why it was not included, he said he had not given it any thought.
“You come to mislead this court, or you come here to act … . You know the difference between statement and evidence … . Being a police officer for 31 years, you thought it prudent to leave out certain information and come to the court and talk about it?” Shaw said.
The retired policeman previously testified that Christie told him that City Puss’ correct name was Jason Brown.
During another of their interactions, the retired lawman said Christie informed him that she was the babymother of reputed west Kingston strongman Leighton ‘Livity’ Coke.
But Shaw pressed the retired cop that she had not disclosed that she was the babymother of Coke, but the ex-cop insisted on the veracity of his claim.
Shaw also argued that the policeman was not being truthful, citing that his client did not meet with him on Burke Road to give information on City Puss.
It was only last week that Brown was identified as City Puss, five months into the trial.
Shaw then proceeded to question the retired policeman’s conviction rate.
“How many of these 300 persons that you have interviewed in relation to this Clansman Gang, as you have said, how many of them have been convicted?”
“I did not charge all 300 of them,” the former cop said.
“How many you charge?” Shaw remarked.
“Sir, really and truly, I can’t tell yuh a number.”
“And you have not had at least one conviction? ... (for) anti-gang?” Shaw asked.
“Two convictions … . A number of them, several of them, I won’t put a number to it, but some of them are in the dock,” the retired cop said.
Shaw is expected to continue his cross-examination of the retired policeman today.
Bryan and 32 other alleged gang members, the One-Don faction of Clansman Gang, are being tried on an indictment with 25 counts under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organizations) Act and the Firearms Act.