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Officers admit to giving false statements

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Two of the three police officers who lost their appeals against a conviction of assaulting a teenager in their custody admitted in their evidence that they had lied and had given different statements on the matter.{{more}}

Corporal Casankie Quow and Constables Osrick James and Hadley Ballantyne were each found guilty on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, for assaulting Jemark Jackson on November 18, 2008, at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

That conviction was upheld by the Appeal Court on Monday, February 21.

During his appeal, Ballantyne admitted to the court that he had given two different statements in the matter. He noted that the first was a random report and the second was under oath. He further stated that although he took the oath to speak the truth he said things that were untrue, even though he knew it is an offence to do so.

James in his evidence also admitted that he had lied about a statement that he said he wrote on November 21, 2008. He said that he had lied to Assistant Superintendent of Police Willisford Caesar because the report was written three days after he was asked to write it, and he had written something that was untrue.

Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams prosecuting the case told the court it is clear from the evidence, Jackson’s credibility was in sharp contrast to the police officers.

Williams contended that he arrived at this conclusion because some of the police officers were shown to be untruthful and admitted making false statements to their superiors in relation to the incident.

In his judgement, Chief Justice Hugh Rawlins mentioned that the DPP had insisted that Senior Magistrate Donald Browne had correctly concluded that all the police officers were not fair and truthful to the court and that Jackson’s evidence in conjunction with the evidence of the doctors ought to be believed.

Chief Justice Rawlins also concluded that Senior Magistrate Browne could have provided a fuller analysis on the case where evidence is concerned.

“He could have explained why he distrusted the evidence of the police witnesses and what aspects he disbelieved.

“However, he clearly resolved the issue of credibility in favour of Jemark on his own evidence and on the support which the medical evidence lent to his evidence.

Chief Justice Rawlins noted that the doctors’ evidence had borne out the serious nature of Jackson’s injuries and had placed the time within which he sustained the injuries within the time-frame to which he spoke.