(CMR) After a five-week trial, a jury returned not-guilty verdicts for Jamaicans Richard Andre Scott and Mark Alexander Beckett in the most recent Scotiabank robbery. The case was filled with allegations of threats made to co-defendants, lawyers, jury members, and even some witnesses. One eyewitness even claimed that Scott attempted to kick his co-accused down some stairs.
The serious allegations include lawyers on both the defense and prosecution sides being threatened by individuals connected to Scott. In fact, he attempted to attack his associate and co-accused, which prompted authorities to separate the two men for the remainder of the trial. Unbeknownst to the jury, additional security guards were present during the trial, putting some distance between the two men.
They were also brought in through separate doors and transported separately as well. While many were shocked at the outcome of the case, it appears to have come down to the identification of the man being the robbers that ultimately, the jury could not satisfy their minds on.
The duo were charged with robbery, attempted robbery, and possession of an imitation firearm in relation to the attempted robbery of Scotiabank in Grand Harbour in June.
However, while both men have been freed, there are concerns that Scott had not been charged in relation to the attack and threat of Beckett.
The two men were charged after two masked men reportedly entered the cashless bank and demanded cash before robbing a woman at an ATM inside the bank. One of the men, who the prosecution said was Beckett, had a gun.
A member of the public who witnessed the offenders fleeing the bank pursued them in his vehicle to Old Crewe Road, where he intercepted one of the men. Both offenders then fled on foot into a bush area beside the road.
Police gave chase, and Scott was arrested with a bag containing clothes that resembled those worn by one of the robbers. Beckett was later arrested. The gun was never recovered, and no shots were fired during the robbery; as a result, the men were charged with possession of an imitation firearm; they were only able to charge them with possession of an imitation gun with intent to commit a crime.
During the trial, the prosecution said CCTV footage of Scott and Beckett and DNA on the seats and handlebars of the bikes they used proved they were guilty.
However, Beckett denied being a part of the robbery, giving evidence that he had done some work on Scott's bike earlier. He also said he had lent Scott a bag in which police found clothes with Beckett's DNA.
Also, police were unable to prove that the clothes found in the bag carried by Scott were the same used in the robbery. It also came up in court that the bicycle that Beckett reportedly rode had three different DNAs.
During the trial, the court also heard that Beckett knew Scott because he worked with Scott's mother but left because of poor treatment. Scott and his mother had previously been charged with the assault of a Filipino national.
Scott was represented by Keith Myers, while Beckett was represented by Kelly Law Firm.