A man who earlier beat two murder charges and is now on trial for gun and ammunition possession charges, on Monday, lashed out at the court system, accusing it of “curry favour”.
“Is bare curry favour does go on in this court,” Colin “Cocoa” David, 30, said at the Serious Offences court after Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias rejected his lawyer, Grant Connell’s no-case submission.
The magistrate ruled that the prosecution has presented a case for David to answer on a charge that on May 5 at Kingstown, he had, in his possession, one 9mm pistol and 36 rounds of 9mm ammunition, without a license issued under the Firearm Act.
“The system doh (doesn’t) give justice,” David continued while sitting in the prisoners’ area after being ordered to stand down.
“I disagree,” the chief magistrate responded.
“You have a lawyer you have to vent to him so that he could vent to the court,” the magistrate further said.
“A lot of wrong going on in the system; nobody talking out,” David further said as police prepared to handcuff him to remove him from the courtroom.
“The time will come when I will get me opportunity to voice me opinion,” the accused man further said as a senior police officer who had reminded David that he was still in court, noted that Connell was not even reprimanding his client.
As the accused man was escorted out of the courtroom, the magistrate said his lawyer could arrange a press conference so that he would voice his opinion.
David’s comments came after the Crown closed its case and Connell said that the prosecution had not presented a case for his client to answer.
The Crown had called three witnesses, namely Sergeant of Police Julian Cain, a firearms expert, Station Sergeant of Police Dwayne Bailey, the arresting officer, and Constable McDowald, who was also among the officers from the Special Patrol to arrest David in Kingstown.
The police told the court that they arrested David and Gershon Calvin Cole-Woods, a 37-year-old farmer of Belair, in a car in Kingstown on the date in question.
There was a third occupant of the vehicle, but no charges were brought against that person.
The two police witnesses told the court that they and other officers surrounded the vehicle and ordered the occupants to exit the vehicle.
The two other occupants exited and Cole-Woods was found with a gun on his person and told police that it belonged to him.
However, a hand wearing a black glove tossed a firearm and two magazines outside the backseat of the vehicle.
The police said that when the three occupants of the vehicle were taken out, David was found with a white t-shirt tied around his face in such a manner that only his eyes were exposed.
They further said that David was the only of the three occupants of the car who was wearing gloves and that no other gloves were found in the vehicle. The police further told the court that the other two occupants were sitting in the front of the car.
Cole-Woods was charged with having in his possession one .38 revolver and 15 rounds of .38 ammunition without a license issued under the Firearm Act, at Kingstown on May.
Both men were granted EC$50,000 bail each with one surety and were ordered to report to the Calliaqua Police Station on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and were placed on a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
However, Cole-Woods disappeared in late August, about one week before he was scheduled to reappear in court for a hearing on the matter.
One of his relatives reported to police that he had not been seen for some time and Connell said that it is feared that unknown persons killed him.
In his no-case submission, Connell said that the evidence presented by the Crown was tenuous and that David should not be made to mount a defence.
He said the only common denominator in the evidence of the two material witnesses was a hand with a glove that reportedly threw the firearm and magazines out of the vehicle.
The defence counsel noted that Bailey had said that the gun was thrown out via the rear door of the vehicle, which the occupant opened partly, while McDowald said they were thrown through the window.
Connell told the court that he presumes that the prosecution, in response to the no-case submission would come with its snake story about differing witness accounts which say a snake is of different colours but it does not change the fact that all witnesses agree that it was a snake.
He said he would be shocked if his client is made to defend himself in light of the evidence presented.
But Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche, in his usual jovial style, told the court that the defence would indeed be shocked.
“Leave my snake story alone,” he told Connell, adding that in that case, it was not even necessary to refer to the snake analogy.
Delplesche said that in law, variances in witness accounts are only material if they go to the heart of the case.
He said there was no evidence that one witness had said the gun was found in Little Tokyo and another said it was found in Rose Place — two different places in Kingstown.
Delplesche further said that it was not the case where one officer had said that the hand had on a glove and the other said there was no glove.
The prosecutor submitted that the Crown had crossed the bridge of having made out a prima facie case.
“I have to agree with the prosecutor. A prima facie case has been made,” the magistrate said.
The trial continues on Dec. 6.
The defence has informed the court that it intends to have its own firearms expert examine the firearm and ammunition.
The prosecution did not object, noting that the defence is responsible for making the relevant arrangements.
David has another firearm and ammunition possession charge still pending.
Correction: This story was updated to reflect the defendant’s correct surname, “David”.