From the Courts
March 8, 2016
Police officers testify against colleague

Police officers were placed in an uncomfortable position yesterday, as they gave evidence against fellow officer constable Mayon Spring at the Serious Offenses Court.{{more}}

Spring has been charged with corruptly obtaining 25 rounds of 5.56 ammunition for himself by an omission in the discharge of the duty of his office, while employed as a police officer between November 27 and 29 at Calliaqua.

He was further charged that on that said date he stole 25 rounds of 5.56 ammunition, valued at EC$26.50, the property of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines and was in possession of that ammunition without a licence.

When he took the witness stand yesterday, PC 189 Caesar said he was stationed at the Calliaqua Police Station on Friday, November 28, 2015, about 5 p.m., when he saw Spring take something from a desk, place it in a black plastic bag then into a blue bag.

“I was concerned at the time because I don’t know what the defendant moved from the desk and both of us were working,” Caesar told the court, adding that he was restless that night after observing what had transpired.

He also said that the following Sunday, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sydney James held a meeting at the station with him, Spring, Station Sergeant James, Corporal King, Corporal Harry and other police officers, after it had been brought to the ASP’s attention that ammunition had gone missing.

However, during cross-examination by Spring’s lawyer Grant Connell, Caesar disclosed that although he found Spring’s actions to be suspicious, he did not confront him, because Spring was his immediate boss.

Caesar further disclosed that on November 29, 2015, he and another police officer went to Spring’s locker and saw the ammunition, counted it and reported the matter to Corporal King.

During his turn on the witness stand, ASP James testified that he had asked twice that any officer who had the missing ammunition in their possession should hand it over.

ASP James said when he asked the second time, Spring confessed and took Station Sergeant James to his locker, where he had the ammunition.

ASP James testified that when he brought Spring to the Commissioner of Police Michael Charles and Deputy Commissi-oner Reynold Hadaway, after Spring had handed over the ammunition, Spring confessed that he had obtained it from an unsecured desk at the station. ASP James said if ammunition is found by a police officer, it must be reported to the superior officer.

A ballistic expert confirmed that the 25 rounds of 5.56 ammunition is used by the M16 rifle, a M4 carbine (a shorter lighter variant of the M16 rifle) and the M49 machine gun, all of which are used by the police force.

The trial will continue on March 16, 2016.(AS)