Edwards v R

JurisdictionBahamas
CourtCourt of Appeal
JudgeGonsalves-Sabola, P
Judgment Date16 July 1998
Neutral CitationBS 1998 CA 29
Date16 July 1998
Docket NumberCriminal Appeal No. 39 of 1996

Court of Appeal

Gonsalves-Sabola, P., George, J.A.Liverpool, J.A.

Criminal Appeal No. 39 of 1996

Edwards
and
R.

Mr. Malcolm Adderley with Mr. Devard Williams for the appellants.

Mrs. Velma Hylton Q.C. for the respondent.

Practice and procedure - Evidence — Corroboration — Discrepancies in prosecution evidence — Whether the trial judge erred in not directing the jury on the discrepancies in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses and the need for independent evidence to support the prosecution's case — Whether the verdict of the jury was unreasonable.

Held: There was no authority that independent corroborative evidence was needed to deal with discrepancies in the prosecution evidence. The trial judge gave full attention to the question of discrepancies leaving it up to the jury to reach its own conclusion on the discrepancies. There was no support for the ground that the verdict of the jury was unreasonable. Appeal dismissed.

Gonsalves-Sabola, P
1

The appellant was, on 8 th May, 1996 convicted on two counts of an information which charged him with the murder and armed robbery respectively of one Gerald Cash, the owner of the Lucky Food Store on Wulff Road, Nassau. For the murder he was sentenced to death and for the armed robbery he was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. The appellant's appeal to this court was heard and dismissed on 20 th January, 1997 and his conviction and sentence on each count affirmed. The court's reasons are now put into writing.

2

The facts adduced at trial by the prosecution are in substance as follows: On 20 th October, 1994, at about 7.00p.m. Gerald Cash was in his food store behind the cash register performing the duties of cashier. Also present in that food store were Oliver Hamilton, a customer, two brothers Robert and Rupert Cooper, and Edroy Saunders employed in the store as shelf boy, butcher and packing boy respectively. A man entered the store, produced a handgun from a paper bag, menaced the few customers and employees present, ordered them to the back of the store, demanded money and became threatening and violent.

3

Oliver Hamilton was in the course of leaving when he was suddenly grabbed from behind and thrown to the floor by the man with the gun. Shots rang out. Gerald Cash was fatally shot and fell bleeding to the floor behind the cash register. The gunman then gave Oliver Hamilton a paper bag and commanded him to open up the cash register. The gunman held the paper bag open and ordered Hamilton to put in the money contained in the cash register. Hamilton obeyed, transferring a quantity of cash from the cash register to the possession of the gunman who then departed the premises.

4

These facts, set out in the broadest outline, were not in any dispute at the trial. The defence was an alibi. The appellant was at work in the Nassau Beach Hotel in another part of town. He had had his hair trimmed down to a “skin fade” so he so he could not have been the gunman who committed those offences on the night in question. That gunman was described by prosecution eye witnesses as having his hair in a different hairstyle. His hair was what was called “budded”

5

The evidence disclosed that an identification parade was conducted by Detective Chief Inspector Raymond Gibson on 24 th October 1994, that is, four days after the fatal shooting of Gerald Cash in his...

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