No appeal for gun possession conviction

| 02/11/2017 | 5 Comments
Cayman News Service

Jonathon Welcome

(CNS): A Bodden Town man was denied leave to appeal his 6-year conviction for possession of an imitation weapon with intent to resist arrest. At the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal Wednesday, it was found that Jonathan Welcome, who did not appear, had no grounds to appeal. Welcome, who was convicted 14 December 2016 after a jury trial, submitted the application himself in February for leave to appeal, well beyond the 14-day deadline after a verdict is handed down, but he was granted legal aid last month in connection with the submission. His defence attorney, who met with him at HMP Northward where Welcome asked for advice on the merits of his application, appeared on his behalf at the hearing.

The court noted that it was “very odd” that Welcome did not attend the hearing because that would have given him the opportunity to argue his case. Choosing not to appear, it was added, “stymies the court’s efforts to deal” with the application.

In the end, it was decided to proceed with the hearing, and the court recounted the crown’s case against Welcome.

Two police officers were on patrol in the School Road area of George Town at around 1:25am on 17 April last year. One of the officers recognised Welcome, who was on the street talking with two other men, and the second officer, who was driving and did not know Welcome, stopped the car.

The first officer had known him since 2010 and a few weeks before the incident had had a conversation with him for about 10 minutes; he was certain the man was Welcome. He approached within a few feet of Welcome to talk, after which the other officer saw he had a weapon under his shirt tucked into the waistband of his trousers.

When Welcome realised the officer saw the gun, he took off running and the police ran after him. During the chase he waved the firearm at the officers and at members of the public. He escaped capture but was tracked down a few days later at his girlfriend’s home.

Welcome maintained at his trial that he wasn’t the man in question and he knew nothing about the incident, that he was home sleeping at the time. Among his reasons for the appeal was that the quality of the investigation was poor; he was about 20ft away from the officers, hindering identification; and the police had fabricated evidence, a charge which was never mentioned at the trial.

Turning to the timing of the application for leave to appeal, the court said there were no reasonable grounds for the delay in submitting those papers. The application was then denied.

Fleeing gunman convicted by jury

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    When you said local criminals you have to be a expa.

  2. anonymous says:

    Please lock this “man” up – and throw away the key. Thank you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is he potentially deportable? Has anyone even checked?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Please keep this guy in prison. Does not need to be back on the streets .

  5. Anonymous says:

    Appeals should only be funded by lawyers acting on a no-win no-fee basis. Too much public money is wasted on hopeless appeals by local criminals spending public money in efforts to get off.

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