(CNS): A 34-year-old man from George Town walked free from court on Monday after the crown’s case against him, in connection with a shooting in McField Square earlier this year, collapsed. The court heard that the two witnesses on which the case rested refused to give evidence against Randy Parchment, who was accused of being one of two gunmen men who opened fire at an after-hours session in the popular late night spot and hit three women.
The crown advised the court that the prosecution evidence had been provided primarily by two witnesses. However, crown counsel, Nicole Petite, said that just before the trial was due to start this week, there were “difficulties in relation to these witnesses” that were “beyond the control” of the director of public prosecutions, and despite efforts to get the witnesses to testify, they refused and so the crown had no evidence against the defendant.
Justice Charles Quin dismissed the charges against Parchment after establishing that there was nothing the crown could do after they had made repeated requests to the witnesses, who now refuse to cooperate. Parchment, who was represented by Nick Dixey from Nelsons, had been on remand since his arrest six months ago. He was found not guilty and released, having been arrested shortly after the shooting in the early hours of 28 March.
Two other suspects who were arrested at the same time in connection with the incident were released on police bail and no charges were ever brought against those men. But Parchment was charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and malicious unlawful wounding. He pleaded not guilty in April and remained on remand till Monday.
On the night of the shooting, police said that two masked gun men fired shots into a crowd of people in the square in the central area of George Town. Three women were wounded during the shooting, which police believe was gang-related, and the shooters were aiming at another man who escaped injury. One of the woman was more seriously wounded as she was hit in the chest and abdomen, while the other two women received less serious injuries, one to her hand and one to her arm.
A few months later there was another shooting at a late night session in Sparky Drive, where one gunman again fired indiscriminately into a crowd shooting three people. One man was very seriously injured but no one has been charged in connection with that incident.