QC: Witness a ‘ratty corrupt liar’

| 12/03/2015 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The attorney representing David Tamasa (33) from West Bay said the crown witness accusing his client of being the mastermind behind the Cayman National Bank heist in June 2012 was a “discredited, totally corrupt and ratty witness”. James Curtis QC said that, on any view, Marlon Dillon, a twice convicted armed robber — in contrast to his client who is a family man of good character — was a liar who had changed his story again and again for his own ends.

Cayman News Service

CNB Buckingham Square branch

As he presented Tamasa’s position in light of the allegations that he was the mastermind in the armed heist, Curtis focused on the lack of any corroborating evidence against his client that he was involved in the robbery at all, let alone to support Dillon’s claims that he was the orchestrator of the hold-up and had secured the guns.

Focusing on the lies and inconsistencies in Dillon’s evidence, the attorney told the jury that if they were in any doubt about “this creature’s allegations”, they must acquit Tamasa.

The attorney described Dillon’s allegations as very dangerous and said that through his catalogue of sometimes inexplicable lies, he was trying to bring others down for his own self-advancement.

He called Dillon a “cynical manipulator” who was trying to secure the deals he wanted and had told lie on top of lie to get it. Curtis pointed to the reduced sentence that Dillon received for his part in the CNB and WestStar armed robberies, and his continuing fight over his deportation and the ultimate goal to get to the UK, where his wife and family have been relocated, as the motivating factor behind his false allegations.

Asking the jury if they would buy a used car from Dillon, he queried why they should buy his terrible allegations. He pointed out that to convict someone of a serious crime such as armed robbery, the jury needed far more evidence than the claims of such a flawed witness with robbery convictions, criminal associations and plenty of motive for lying.

The lawyer said there was no evidence of Tamasa’s involvement in planning what witnesses at the bank had described as a well-choreographed heist. He denied any flurry of calls between Tamasa and Dillon that could support the prosecution claims. What communication there was, the attorney said, was nothing more than what would be expected between friends.

“There is no evidence at all that the calls had anything to do with orchestrating a robbery,” he said, adding that they were friends who contacted each other regularly — nothing more.

Tamasa had given a full account of what he was doing on the day of the robbery to police from the start and answered questions, none of which were ever undermined, the lawyer reminded the jury. But, Curtis said, Tamasa had become the target of Dillon’s lies because he was a friend and a much easier target than the real murderous robbers who, Dillon claimed, had cajoled and tricked him into the crime.

Dillon was “trying to dig himself out of a hole” by naming accomplices, Curtis said, and it was safest for him to take a soft target. The lawyer said the flaws and corrupt evidence made it clear the allegations were false and had come from a “desperate creature”.

Curtis explained that his client had not taken the witness stand in his own defence because he had a right not to do so, and given the lack of evidence, there was no case for his client to answer. All the prosecution had brought was a flawed, false accusation and a handful of calls between friends.

Tamasa had given a full truthful account when he was first asked by police about the crime and he is not a criminal, Curtis stated, and he urged the jury to return a not guilty verdict since there was nothing on which they could truly convict his client with a clear conscience.

Tamasa, along with Rennie Cole, George Mignott and Andre Burton, who have all denied the allegations, are accused of robbery and possession of imitation firearms as part of a conspiracy to rob the Buckingham Square branch of the CNB on 28 June 2012. In the armed daylight heist more than half a million dollars was stolen in what is believed to be the largest bank job ever in the Caribbean.

The crown’s key witness, Marlon Dillon, a.k.a. Supergrass, was also convicted of robbery and possession of an imitation weapon but he was given just three years for his part in the robbery after turning crown witness in this case, as well as a robbery at WestStar and an unrelated murder.

Dillon was kept in solitary confinement at a cell in the George Town lock-up for over two years before being released shortly after his sentencing last year.  He is now facing deportation to Jamaica, despite the promises he claims were made to him that he would be able to join his wife and family in the UK, where they were placed shortly after Dillon began giving evidence against the people he says robbed the bank with him.

Dillon has claimed that the fifth man in the bank heist was Ryan Edwards, who is not currently on trial.

Following the completion of Curtis’ closing submission on behalf of Tamasa Thursday, Laurence Aiolfi, from the local firm Samson and McGrath, began his comments to the jury on behalf of Rennie Cole. The case continues tomorrow in Grand Court One.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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