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Day 2: Corporal Ballantyne: Williams confessed

Day 2: Corporal Ballantyne: Williams confessed

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The Prime Minister’s former Press Secretary Glenn Jackson was allegedly killed after a dispute with accused Francis “Prickle” Williams, in March this year, the Serious Offences Court heard this week.

Police claimed this is what Williams confessed to them but defence attorneys disputed and challenged the validity of the alleged oral confession as something trumped up by the police.

In that confession, Williams was alleged to have given details of a salacious encounter with Jackson.{{more}}

According to testimony by Corporal Rudolph Ballantyne, Williams and Jackson were in the backseat of Jackson’s RAV4 on a small field in front of the St Vincent Grammar School when they got into a disagreement.

Ballantyne told the Preliminary Inquiry, being heard by Chief Magistrate Simone Churaman, that during the dispute, Williams allegedly reached over to the driver’s seat, picked up Jackson’s gun and pointed it at him. The gun went off. Jackson then reportedly said “Okay, ah done”.

The police said the incident occurred sometime on the night of March 5 or early hours of March 6.

Among other things, Ballantyne told the court that Williams allegedly confessed to him, Sergeant Selwyn Jack, and Station Sergeant Trevor Bailey on the morning of Saturday, April 29 that he drove the car and parked it at the Cane Garden public road, near a tree, where it was later discovered with Jackson’s nude body in the back seat.

On his way to Cane Garden he stopped a couple times to check on Jackson and said he was breathing heavily, moving from side to side.

Ballantyne also alleged that Williams told them where he discarded the gun. He also took Jackson’s black Razr cell phone.

Defense lead attorney, Kay Bacchus-Browne, charged that the so-called voluntary oral confession by Williams was totally fabricated by the police and she pressed Ballantyne to explain himself. Why was there no written and signed statement by Williams, she wanted to know.

The only thing Ballantyne said he had were notes that he recorded in his diary – and that was home.

Bacchus-Browne put to Ballantyne that her client was threatened and coerced by the police to give a statement.

She asked Corporal Ballantyne whether he and the other police officers promised Williams that he would be made out to be a hero, if he confessed, because Jackson had molested many little boys.

She further put it to Ballantyne that Williams was told that lawyers were not interested in him and that they, the police, will assist him in a self defense case.

Ballantyne denied these claims.

He admitted under cross examination that police did not find Jackson’s gun despite several searches in the location where Williams allegedly said he discarded it.

Six witnesses were called during the day’s proceedings including Jackson’s eldest son Glendon, who discovered his father’s body the afternoon of Monday March 6. He testified that he knew that his father owned a black handle, silver 9 mm pistol which he kept under the mat of the front seat of his vehicle along with an extra magazine of ammunition.

Glendon said that when his father returned from giving his girlfriend a ride home, a little after 8:00 pm on Sunday, March 5, it was the last time he saw his father alive. He said that his father, dressed in a jean short pants and white jersey, left again in his Toyota Rav 4 jeep, registration number P255, at around 9:30 pm.

His voice occasionally dropped to an inaudible level, while his widowed mother Susan Jackson diligently took notes of the proceedings. During the cross examination, Glendon said that he did not know that his parents were having marital problems or that his father was having any work related problems.

Glendon also testified that on Friday, March 3, 2006 his father was visited by fair skinned man with long, curly hair. He estimated the man to be in his early twenties. He told the court that after having a conversation with his father that the man left in a vexed mood.

Glen Jackson’s stepfather Vini Robbin and his step brother, David Robbin also gave evidence. They both denied any knowledge of Glen Jackson being gay but Vini admitted that he had heard rumors to that effect.

Aretha Thomas and Quellon Thomas, Glenn Jackson’s uncle, also testified.