Court upholds accessory conviction in banker’s killing

| 06/03/2017 | 6 Comments

(CNS): A West Bay man was returned to HMP Northward Friday after an appeal in the case of accessory to the murder of Frederic Bise was dismissed. Leonard Antonio Ebanks failed to have the conviction overturned and his 20-year sentence reduced. He was found guilty following a trial in 2014 for assisting Chad Anglin, who was convicted of killing the Swiss banker following a sexual encounter that turned violent in 2008. Ebanks claimed he did not get a fair trial as he was tried for murder and the judge offered the alternative accessory charge to the jury only at the end of the trial.

Bise’s badly beaten body was found in February 2008 in the back of his own burned-out car in front of the house where he was living in West Bay.

Both Ebanks and Anglin had been arrested as suspects in the wake of the killing but they were not charged until several years later following a cold case review. The charges against Ebanks were based on the evidence of two women who claimed he had told them he was involved in the murder and items belonging to Bise found at his home. Ebanks had also claimed that the judge did not make it clear to the jury the significant contradictions of the witnesses.

Courtenay Griffiths QC argued on behalf of Ebanks that the late and alternative charge was unfair because it impacted how the defense would have been carried out and how crown witnesses would be cross-examined, and he may have even pleaded guilty to such a charge.

But the appeal judges found that there could have been no real difference in the arguments at trial regardless of the additional charge and that at the time of trial Griffiths had not argued against the alternative charge because it was a possible advantage to his client. The appeal court pointed out that “the truth is not a moveable feast”, as they dismissed arguments about a possible guilty verdict as a reason for overturning a conviction.

The senior judges also said the trial judge was very clear in his directions to the jury about the contradictions and inconsistencies in the women’s evidence.

They found that the sentence was not excessive. The starting point now for a life sentence for murder is 30 years and Ebanks had a string of more than 50 convictions, including violent offences, when he was handed the 20-year jail term for helping Anglin dispose of evidence, moving the body from the murder scene and setting the car alight.

Ebanks is also serving a life sentence for the murder of Tyrone Burrell in what was believed to be a gang related shooting in 2010. While that murder came after the Bise killing, Ebanks was charged with that murder long before the cold case review saw him charged for Bise’s murder as well.

Ebanks is expected to have the tariff for that life sentence determined later this year.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (6)

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  1. ee says:

    . . .and yet, some hateful maggot preachers keep getting paid to say gays burn in hell forever.


  2. Veritas says:

    It seems that Q.C’s do a roaring trade in appeals even when there are no real grounds for one. How much does this cost Goverment?. I can perhaps see now why a guilty plea earns a one third discount on sentencing as it not only saves money and time on a trial, but also on what on most occasions is an appeal that’s doomed to fail.


  3. The Donald says:

    Lotta Bad Dudes out there.


    • Jotnar says:

      Or in his case, in there – in Northward.

      Talking of which, he must like the food in there. Put on a lot of weight since the original trial. He keeps going at that rate he isn’t going to make it to his parole review.


  4. Anonymous says:

    DEAR LORD THROW AWAY THE KEY TO THIS MAN’s CELL. This is crazy. Life should be life for these murderers, as in, until their last breath leaves their dark souls.


    • Anonymous says:

      Criminal dossiers like this make even the most liberally-minded and anti-capital punishment wonder if maybe we’ve got it all wrong.



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