Legal wrangling stalls CNB trial

| 20/02/2015 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The case against four men accused of a daring armed daylight robbery, in which over half a million dollars was stolen from Cayman National Bank, was bogged down in legal troubles this week. A catalogue of issues surrounding the crown’s key witness, among other problems, has delayed progress but the jury finally saw the dramatic CCTV footage of the terrifying heist, when three men, two of them armed with a shotgun and a hand gun, burst into the bank.

As the crown’s main witness, Marlon Dillon, dubbed the ‘supergrass’, gave his evidence against his alleged co-conspirators, he talked the court through the footage. He claimed it showed Rennie Cole first walk into the bank and distract the security guard and then, seconds later, George Mignott and Ryan Edwards, both carrying guns, burst through the doors, along with Dillon, who was carrying a cloth bag.

David Tamasa, also accused of the robbery, was said by Dillan to have orchestrated the hold-up and supplied the guns. Andre Burton is accused of being the getaway driver.

The jury watched the heist unfolded from various angles outside and inside the bank, as Dillon pointed out who was who and what role each was meant to play.

However, Dillon, who is supposed to be a protected witness as a result of giving evidence in this trial as well as in the armed WestStar heist and the murder of Robert Macford Bush, is understood to be facing some significant disputes with the local authorities about his future protection. He told the court that he was unable to proceed with his evidence, forcing the trial behind closed doors on a number of occasions Thursday.

But with the issues seemingly shelved, if not resolved, Dillon returned to the stand to face cross-examination. As he did, he revealed that he was facing immigration issues and denied that he was benefiting in the least from giving evidence. He did, however, admit that he had been given a greatly reduced sentence over his conviction for the robbery as a result of being a crown witness.

As the legal teams began their cross-examination, Dillon’s honesty was attacked as he was accused of “telling lie upon lie” to secure benefits for himself and the best outcome for him personally, when in reality he was a dangerous and thoroughly dishonest robber, falsely accusing the wrong men. But Dillon stated that there “was no best” for him and he was in the box only to tell the truth.

He asked how he could hope for a better future when he had received a letter from immigration, though he did not offer any details about the content.

Dillon said, “I engaged with my friends and did something sleazy,” as he implied that he was doing what he was instructed to do by his friends when he was arrested and told a number of different stories.

Asked about the terrifying ordeal for the staff, he denied threatening anyone’s life during the heist and said he did not carry a gun into the bank. Dillon said he did not know the intentions of his friends. He told the court that he did not agree to take part in the robbery for money but because he was looking for friends and had asked them to call it off.

Admitting to being caught red-handed, Dillon repeated on a number of occasions that the last thing he expected was his “friends would trick” him into using his own car as a getaway vehicle, which was what led the police to his door.

Dillon continued to deny lying about his evidence in order to improve his own circumstances before the court was adjourned until Friday morning 10:30am.CNB

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Category: Courts, Crime

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