Attorney-General: Landmark Cases Of 2014/15

March 15, 2015

While delivering the Ministry of Legal Affairs Budget Brief, Attorney-General Trevor Moniz provided an overview of what he said were “landmark cases” of 2014/2015, saying they “were of great public interest in that they involved high profile defendants and/or were complex both legally and factually.” The text below was extracted from the Brief.

The Queen v Wolda Gardner & Rickai Dickinson

This matter involved the reprisal Murder of George Lynch which occurred as a direct result of witnesses giving evidence in a Supreme Court trial wherein gang members were on trial.

The case involved the use of social media evidence, forensic evidence and the evidence of former associates of the aforementioned gang. The trial highlighted the actuality and severity of witness intimidation in Bermuda. A conviction was secured.

The prosecutors were Carrington Mahoney and Nicole Smith.

The Queen v Prince Edness

This matter was in relation to the cold case murder of Jason Lightbourne in 2006. The Defendant was eventually acquitted but this matter has the distinction of being the first Supreme Court trial to occur in the Dame Lois Brown Evans Building.

Unusually during the trial, the defendant admitted being a leader of the Parkside gang. A few days after his acquittal he was shot dead.

The prosecutors were Rory Field, Carrington Mahoney and Takiyah Burgess.

The Queen v Steve Symonds

This matter involved the attack on an officer of the Court, on the grounds of the Supreme Court, as a result of her performing her duties to the Family Court. The Defendant plead guilty to charges of Deprivation of Liberty and Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm.

The prosecutors were Carrington Mahoney and Kenlyn Swan.

The Queen v Devon Hewey & Cervio Cox

This matter involves the Attempted Murder Shooting incident outside of the then Shine’s Club. The Defendants were acquitted of all charges but this matter was the first in which cell-site evidence was admitted into evidence in a trial in the courts of Bermuda.

The prosecutors were Carrington Mahoney and Larissa Burgess.

R v. Julian Washington

This was a case of the premeditated murder of Stefan Burgess and attempted murder of his friend Devano Brimmer. The Defendant opened fire as the victims were celebrating Stefan Burgess’ birthday at his apartment in Glebe Road.

In the absence of a witness positively identifying the Defendant, the case turned upon complex forensic evidence including Gunshot residue analysis and DNA.

The Defendant was convicted and order to serve a term of life imprisonment, with a minimum term to serve of 25 years before becoming eligible for parole.

The prosecutors were Garrett Byrne and Victoria Greening

R v Wardman

This was a driving case where the victim had to be air evacuated to the US due to  a life threatening blood clot on the brain.  The trial involved complex evidence to prove who the driver was. A count on the indictment, namely failing to provide the necessities of life, was the first time that the offence had been used in Bermuda.

It expands the concept of the duty of a person to act where they have a responsibility to another and it being criminal not to take action in certain circumstances. The defendant was convicted of all 4 counts.

The prosecutors were Rory Field and Victoria Greening

Court of Appeal: Craig Hatherley and Lorenzo Lottimore

This was a case where the Defendants had been convicted by a jury of conspiring to import BMD $760,000 worth of heroin into Bermuda. The arrangement had been to hide the drugs on board flights from Philadelphia airport to Bermuda.

The case involved the use of a cooperating witness who agreed to work with the FBI by covertly recording telephone calls from the Defendants and the evidence of an undercover agent who secretly filmed Hatherley handing over the heroin to him in New York.

The Defendants were ordered to serve lengthy terms of imprisonment. The Court of Appeal rejected all grounds and dismissed the appeal.

The Prosecutor was Garrett Byrne.

Court of Appeal: Grant & Blakeney

This was a case where the defendants had been convicted by a jury of the attempted murder of two people by gunshot at the Southside Cinema.

This appeal raised the issue of admissibility of gang evidence, the admissibility of low levels of gunshot residue and its components, and the admissibility of low level DNA evidence. It is now the leading local authority on those forensic issues, as the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction, and gave guidance on the admissibility of forensic evidence.

The Prosecutors were Cindy Clarke and Larissa Burgess

Court of Appeal: Janis Zegelis

This was a case where the defendant had been convicted by a jury of the importation of Cocaine worth $48,617,250, ammunition and a firearm. This was the largest importation of drugs into Bermuda.

This appeal included the issue of the defence of Duress. The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction, and this case is now the leading local authority on the defense of Duress.

The Prosecutors were Director Rory Field, Cindy Clarke and Takiyah Burgess

Court of Appeal: Jomar Caines

This was a case where the defendant had been convicted of [amongst other things] the Sexual Exploitation, and Deprivation of Liberty of a 10 year old boy. This appeal clarified the circumstances upon which a sentencing judge should make a Delayed Eligibility for Parole Order.

The Court of Appeal confirmed the sentence of 12 years imprisonment, and also confirmed that the defendant had to serve half of that sentence before being eligible for parole. This case is now the leading local authority on Delayed Eligibility for Parole Orders.

The Prosecutor was Cindy Clarke

The Department of Public Prosecutions Budget Brief is below [PDF here]

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  1. drunkenUrsula says:

    make Carrington Mahoney the Director case solved…..