Source Today Newspaper
GREAT BAY – His mother shed tears of happiness after the Common Court of Justice acquitted Diandro Luciano M. of participating in an armed robbery at Island Water World in Cole Bay on May 16 of last year.
The Court in First Instance sentenced the 21-year old in November to 40 months of imprisonment, with 10 months suspended and 2 years of probation; he appealed the verdict with success and was released from prison yesterday afternoon.
The robbers took $2,500 during this robbery and a mobile phone during the robbery. They entered the store masked, threatened staff and customers with a firearm and forced them to lay down on the ground.
The evidence against M. was based on voice recognition by a police officer, but the court found that there is no proof that the defendant had worked closely and consciously together with the other robbers.
The dossier nor the court hearing in first instance have made clear which role the defendant had during the robbery. Video footage does not establish whether M. was one of the masked men who entered the store. Furthermore, the appeals court ruled, there is no evidence that the defendant played a role in planning the robbery or that there was an agreement about the division of the loot.
“The fact that the defendant used a phone that was stolen during the robbery shortly afterwards is insufficient to link him to the robbery,” the court ruled. “The same is true for the Whatsapp conversations the defendant had some time after the robbery with co-defendant Louis about weapons and robberies, the DNA on a cap and documents of Labour Experts that were found in the getaway car.”
The court ruled that all these clues together strongly suggest that the defendant was involved with the robbery, but they deliver an insufficient concrete picture to label him beyond any reasonable doubt as an accomplice. For this reason the defendant will be acquitted.”