Ferguson and Knowles v R

JurisdictionBahamas
CourtCourt of Appeal
JudgeBlair-Kerr, P.,Duffus, J.A.,Luckhoo, J.A.
Judgment Date03 Mar 1980
Neutral CitationBS 1980 CA 4
Docket NumberCriminal Appeal No. 24 and 25 of 1979

Court of Appeal

Blair-Kerr, P.; Duffus, J.A.; Luckhoo, J.A.

Criminal Appeal No. 24 and 25 of 1979

Ferguson and Knowles
and
R

Criminal Law - Sentences (Armed Robbery)

Judgment of the Court:
1

The appellants were convicted of armed robbery, the particulars of the offence charged being that on 15th February, 1978, being concerned together and armed with two revolvers, they robbed a number of employees of the Commonwealth Industrial Bank and a customer of the bank of the total sum of $1,293. Each appellant was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment to run concurrently with sentences of 7 years now being served by them. They now appeal against their conviction and sentence.

2

The allegation that a robbery occurred shortly before 2p.m. on 15th February was never an issue in the court below. Two men with stockings drawn over their faces, and each armed with a small firearm entered the Bank. Two cashiers were held up and money was taken or handed over. A customer who happened to be in the Bank at the time was also forced to part with a sum of money.

3

The only issue was the identity of the robbers; and to prove the offence the prosecution relied mainly on a statement alleged to have been made by the appellants to the police. According to the evidence, Knowles, when told that he was suspected of robbing The Commonwealth Industrial Bank said: “Yea, man, me and Happy Kid rob the place,” and Ferguson said: “Yea, me and Gregory rob the place because we were broke.” In a written statement, Ferguson is recorded as having said that he and “Gregory” agreed to hold up the Bank, that he had two revolvers, that he gave Gregory one of them, that they covered their faces with stockings, entered the bank and forced the employees and the customer to part with money which they subsequently shared. Knowles' statement is substantially to the same effect.

4

None of the employees of the bank were able to identify the robbers. However, the customer, Samuel Bethel, gave certain evidence. In examination in-chief he mainly said that one of the men was lighter in colour than the other. One might have expected the appellants to leave the matter at that; but they did not choose to do so. In answer to questions by Ferguson, Bethel said “I saw your faces before I went into the bank. That's how I know one was a little brighter than the other.” In answer to further questions by Ferguson, Bethel said:

“I can identify the men if I saw them again, sure. I told police I could identify men. I didn't attend identification parade.”

5

In answer to some question by Knowles, Bethel said:

“I have not seen you...

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