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‘Blacka’ acquitted – Beats four year old case

‘Blacka’ acquitted – Beats four year old case

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With the hurdles that the prosecution faced, Attorney Grant Connell is of the view that it was a “total waste of time” to transfer a drug matter from the Serious Offences court to the Layou Magistrate’s court, even after discrepancies in police statements were discovered last year.{{more}}

On Wednesday, February 22, Andy ‘Blacka’ Bennett was acquitted of possession of 376 pounds of cannabis, after Magistrate Zoila Ellis-Browne upheld a no-case submission at the Layou court.

Shortly after his successful submission, Connell told SEARCHLIGHT he had made a submission to the court about an error, which could not be corrected.

“…Other issues arose that superseded that error. No exhibits were tendered. That means no drugs, no case,…there were just things the prosecutor could not get around,” Connell pointed out.

A search was carried out at Bennett’s Rillan Hill home back on June 6, 2007.

On Wednesday, October 12, 2011 while the case was being heard at the Serious Offences Court, Connell drew to the court’s attention that an original statement and another statement of acting Station Sergeant Foster Scott did not correspond.

Connell, at the time, noted that it would not help if the matter was to be transferred to another court for hearing.

Prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche, at the time, told the court he had held dialogue with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and it was the DPP’s decision that the matter be transferred to another court for hearing.

Connell said the case was granted a final adjournment and he is also at a loss as to why the original prosecutor (Delpeshce) did not turn up at the court to prosecute the matter.

“A Sergeant of Police prosecuted the matter. The prosecutor said he never did one of these cases, and I can’t blame him. He was thrown in just like that,” Connell said one Wednesday.

“Thankfully for them, this is a case of bush (cannabis) and not personal injury. It could have been a severe travesty of justice… There was just a hurdle that would have taken experience to get around. I am doing my job, and if the prosecution lapses, I pounce. I just don’t know why they changed the prosecutor,” Connell added.

According to Connell, the case for the prosecution was already collapsing and they sent someone else to get “hit by the train”.

“If you think the case was collapsing, turn up and collapse with the case. Don’t put it for someone else to collapse and let the train run into them. You come and stand on the track and let the train run over you,” Connell further stated.

Defending himself, Prosecutor Delpesche, when contacted, told SEARCHLIGHT that he could not have attended the matter because he was at the Serious Offences Court prosecuting a preliminary inquiry into a murder case.

“I know the matter was transferred to the Layou court and I couldn’t go to Layou because I had a part heard murder Preliminary Inquiry today. So because of that, the Layou prosecutor would have had to be prosecuting,” Delpesche explained.

Delpesche also pointed out that he was present in Layou on the last occasion when the matter was called for hearing and Connell did not turn up.

Meanwhile, Bennett is thankful to God that he has beaten a case that has been hanging over his head since 2007.

Bennett, who has been featured on the police ‘most wanted’ list in the past, is seeking answers from the police as to why he is was listed as wanted.

“I been living in the mountains expecting everyday to be a dead man. I don’t know what they wanted me for. They should really explain why they have to place me on death row,” Bennett told SEARCHLIGHT.

“I feel like my fundamental rights been threatened and up to today I am scared. I don’t even feel safe walking the streets,” he continued.

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