Ammunition case thrown out by judge
(CNS): A visiting judge concluded this week that the crown's evidence against a defendant for possession of three shotgun cartridges was so weak it could not conceivably support a guilty verdict. Justice Carol Beswick said there was no case for David Ebanks of West Bay to answer as she stopped the trial and entered a verdict of not guilty. The crown had claimed that Ebanks was in possession of the cartridges because they were found wrapped in a sock in the pocket of a pair of jeans on which his DNA was found. The jeans were in room of a house in Cinder Lane, West Bay, which police believed was occupied by Ebanks.
However, the judge found that there was no evidence that this was his room or that he had ever touched the cartridges.
The court heard that the defendant was one of several men who lived in the house and there was no evidence presented by the crown that Ebanks was the occupant of the room in which the ammunition was found. The judge also noted that his DNA was not on the cartridges and that the police had failed to carry out any fingerprint analysis of the items found during the search.
“The prosecution evidence falls short of proof that this defendant had the ammunition in his personal possession or knowingly had custody of the ammunition,” Justice Beswick ruled, noting that at its highest the evidence was insufficient for a jury to properly convict. Sitting alone as the trial judge, she said she had to discharge her duties under the law and stop the case. The judge found that there was no evidence, direct or inferential that the defendant knew anything about the cartridges.
Ebanks was arrested after a police operation at a property in Cinder Lane in February of this year. He was one of several men who were there at the time of the early morning operation. When the police arrived at around 6am, Ebanks was found wearing just underwear in the passage of the house but he was not in the room where the ammunition had been discovered.
The prosecution's case was that Ebanks stayed in the room simply because his DNA was found on the jeans and because there was an absence of female clothing. From there, the prosecutors drew the conclusion that Ebanks had possession of the ammunition and filed charges against him that could have resulted in ten years jail time.
The judge, however, concluded that with no evidence to support the case and Ebanks was released by the court.
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