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Defence raises issue of prosecution’s disclosure of crime scene photos – iWitness News

A defence counsel has raised questions in regards to the obvious apply of the Workplace of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to select and select which crime scene images to speak in confidence to defendants.

The difficulty surfaced on the Calliaqua Justice of the Peace’s Courtroom on Might 10 throughout the trial of Zackrie Latham, 26, of New Grounds, a former police officer who’s charged in reference to the alleged theft of firearms and ammunition from the Georgetown Police Station.

Testifying within the case, detective  Corporal 743 Raycon John, informed the courtroom that he was the crime scene specialist amongst officers who responded on June 3, 2021 to a report of a housebreaking at Georgetown Police Station.

John stated that after processing the scene, he returned to the Legal Information Workplace (CRO), in Kingstown, eliminated the reminiscence card from his digital camera and saved it in his possession. 

He later uploaded these pictures to his laptop and ready a grasp copy disc of pictures and likewise of copies of chosen pictures. 

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John stated that on June 17, about 6 p.m., he was on responsibility at CRO when Richards got here and informed him about responsibility at Calliaqua Police Station.  

John stated he took his crime scene package and went there together with Richards and different personnel from the Main Crimes Unit. 

On arrival, Richard launched John to Latham and so they had a dialog within the station yard then proceeded to the principle highway, the place Latham pointed them to a purple Marino four-door automobile parked alongside the principle highway. 

Richards cautioned Latham then John started to video file the proceedings. 

“I can’t recall how long the recording lasted for. I also took digital images of the said vehicle. On completion, we then proceeded to the residence of Latham in Diamond where a search was conducted on his home. Nothing illegal was found,” John stated. 

He stated he later burnt the video recording onto a disc. He additionally burnt chosen photographs and the video recording onto one disc and labelled, signed and sealed that disc. 

The detective stated he would be capable to recognise the disc by his handwriting and signature. 

Nonetheless, Connell objected to the prosecutor, Crown Counsel Maria Jackson-Richards’ utility to have the disc tendered in proof. 

The lawyer famous that the detective’s proof was that the disc that he despatched to the DPP’s officer was sealed.

Connell stated that the disc that was despatched to him from the DPP’s workplace was not sealed.

“My friend’s (the prosecutor’s) submission clearly shows that the disc could be amended, adjusted and tampered with prior to coming to court,” Connell argued.

“As a result of the one method this (the copy the DPP’s workplace despatched to the defence) could be served on me is that if the DPP had entry to that (the sealed copy from the detective).

“If the evidence is that one disc was burnt but then I have this, clearly, the evidence in that would be highly prejudicial to the defendant.”

Raycon John
Detective Corporal Raycon John processed the scene at Georgetown Police Station in June 2021.

He requested that the disc not be allowed to be tendered in proof, including that it’s for this identical cause that investigators make 4 copies of the digital interview. 

“The integrity of the evidence must be protected.”

He famous that the disc that the prosecution was trying to tender in courtroom is sealed.

“But it is sealed by whom?”

Justice of the Peace Zoila Ellis-Browne, who’s presiding, requested John to elucidate who sealed the disc that he had.

“This is my seal. This is sealed by me. This is written up by me,” John stated, including {that a} copy was additionally despatched to the DPP’s workplace.

Connell stated the disc that  the DPP’s workplace gave to him as a part of disclosure was not sealed however the one earlier than the courtroom was sealed. 

“The question is, is it one and the same? How would defence counsel know that? How would the court know that? And once evidence can be accessed and tampered with, it would be unsafe and prejudicial to be tendered in this honourable court.”

In response, Jackson-Richards stated that if Connell had an issue with the disc being tendered in proof  and his interpretation of the proof was that John made one copy, though John stated he made two, the matter could be resolved by way of an order of the courtroom {that a} copy of the sealed disc that John saved in his possession could possibly be made and served on the defence.

Connell stated he couldn’t settle for that, saying that the disc he had is of the digital interview and photographs on the identical disc.

The prosecutor stated that what occurs every so often on the DPP’s workplace “is that there are occasions where disclosure would have been made—”

Connell, nonetheless, interrupted her, saying she was giving proof from the bar desk. 

He stated the prosecution might solely submit what’s earlier than the courtroom at that second. 

The Justice of the Peace requested the prosecutor if she was conscious of what’s on the disc that was disclosed to Connell.

“It has the information that is on this disc along with the electronic interview,” Jackson-Richards stated, including that it was the second disc that Connell acquired, one having been disclosed beforehand. 

“In the factual chronology, that happened before the interview…” Connell stated, referring to the crime scene {photograph}. “So how could I get the interview before this, if it wasn’t tampered with?”

The prosecutor stated the one issues on the disc are the pictures and the interview. 

The courtroom allowed the defence to tender the disc into proof.

On the shut of the prosecution’s case on Might 17, the courtroom upheld no-case submission by Connel in relation to 10 of the 13 fees in opposition to Latham.

The trial continues on Might 30. 

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