From the Courts
June 18, 2004

Man acquitted of Christmas Eve killing

Joshua Pompey, who was accused of the Christmas Eve shooting death of Wayde Durrant, was acquitted last Friday. His acquittal came after Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle upheld a no-case submission made by defence lawyer, Nicole Sylvester.
Sylvester capitalized on a blunder made by two prosecution witnesses in their evidence. {{more}}The witnesses, police officers Cauldric Byron and Chieftain Neptune, who were reported to be near the scene of the crime, gave conflicting evidence before the court.
Police officer Byron said he was ten feet away and saw Pompey with a gun and a bottle, while the deceased Durrant had nothing in his hand.
However the other police officer, Neptune, said he was 25 feet away and saw Durrant with a bottle in his hand while the accused Pompey had a gun.
Sylvester therefore made a no-case submission on the grounds that it would be unsafe to let the case go to the jury for deliberation since the evidence was “tenuous, inconsistent and unreliable.” She contended that no reasonable jury, properly directed would be able to convict on such evidence.
Justice Bruce-Lyle agreed with Sylvester’s arguments, saying that on such evidence, taken at its highest, no reasonable tribunal properly directed would be able to convict. He said the prosecution woefully failed to establish a charge of murder and that there were two eye-witnesses who gave inconsistent evidence. He noted that the caution statement and the eye-witnesses formed the basis of the prosecution’s case.
“I find the prosecution’s evidence inherently weak and tenuous,” he said.