Sykes points to no corroboration of evidence from ex-cop re ‘Clans’ Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Chief Justice Bryan Sykes says the prosecution has presented no evidence to corroborate the testimony of a retired police inspector who claimed that he was in constant communication with an alleged main operative of the One Don faction of the Clansman gang, Stephanie ‘Mumma’ Christie, who is also a St Thomas pastor.

Sykes made that assessment on the second day of his summation of one of the longest trials in Jamaica’s history in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

A total of 27 defendants, including alleged gang leader, Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan and Christie, remain on trial.

According to Sykes, in the modern day of communication, it is possible to retrieve call records to prove the claim that was made by the retired lawman that he kept in contact with Christie.

Instead, the judge said the lawman came to the trial with his “two long hands”.

Christie’s attorney, Alexander Shaw, had denied that his client had any interactions with the retired police officer. Shaw also contended that the ex-lawman’s evidence was unreliable, and said it had been fabricated.

For Sykes, the testimony from the cop and counter arguments by the defence raise an issue of credibility, and both sides of the argument will have to be examined.

In his testimony last year, the retired lawman said Bryan was in police custody, and by September 2017, he was scheduled to conduct an interview with him at the Spanish Town Police Station.

On the day of the interview, the officer said one of his colleagues told him that a woman outside wanted to speak with him urgently.

The now retired investigator said he subsequently left the interview inside the station, and went outside, where he met a woman who introduced herself as Stephanie Christie-Cole, also known as ‘Mumma’.

Previous evidence presented at the trial indicated that Christie was married to a religious man in St Thomas, and was herself a pastor.

She was arrested in 2019 on the day that her husband was to be ordained as a bishop, police investigators previously testified.

It was also heard in a secretly recorded cell phone conversation, that Christie’s boyfriend in the gang was Fabian Johnson, alias ‘Crocs’. She admitted to that on a recording that was subsequently played in court.

After telling the court the identity of the woman who wanted to speak with him on that day in 2017, prosecutors asked the retired cop to identify Christie in court.

He subsequently identified her, saying: “That’s the great Mumma”.

In continuing to detail the day he met Christie, the retired inspector said she told him that she was ‘Livity’ Coke’s baby mother and “the G’s woman”.

‘Livity’ is the alias for Leighton Coke, a brother of Tivoli Gardens’ strongman, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke. Christopher Coke is incarcerated in the United States on drug-related charges.

“G”, meaning ‘general’, is one of the many aliases of Bryan.

The inspector said Bryan was noticeably happy when he was referred to as “G” by anyone.

In reflecting on the day he met Christie, the retired lawman said he asked the purported pastor how she managed to have two of the “baddest man dem inna Jamaica?”

In response, he said Christie said: “… mi ting up like dat enuh. Mi ting up like dat!”

The witness did not elaborate on what Christie was referring to.

It was at that moment that the former policeman said Christie asked him what she could do to have “G” released from custody.

“Anything can happen enuh,” the retired investigator recalled the woman saying as she tried to sway him to do her bidding.

He said it was at that point that she offered him $100,000 for Bryan’s release from custody.

“A dis yah a dis mi enuh gyal,” the investigator recalled saying in response to Christie’s offer.

“Yuh have two a di baddest man dem and yuh want offer mi $100,000? Yuh mad? A two rifle yuh haffi gimmi,” he added.

According to the former police investigator, Christie gave assurances that what he wanted would be given to him.

“‘No problem. Once the G come out’. Dat she seh,” the witness stated.

Following the conversation, the officer said he went inside the police station to conduct the interview with Bryan.

The then senior investigator told the court that he did not charge Christie for trying to bribe him because he believed she could assist him with getting information on the One Don breakaway faction of the Clansman gang.

On that premise, he said he befriended her because he was also of the belief that she was an influential member of the gang.

The witness said he then used the situation to his advantage, and played along with Christie by misleading her in the process.

He disclosed during his evidence-in-chief that he used the alleged gangster clergywoman to ascertain the real name of the alleged top gangster who is known as ‘City Puss’, by visiting him at Horizon Adult Remand Centre and confirming that City Puss was the alias for Jason Brown, who was a convict serving time in custody.

Sykes on Tuesday questioned the date on which the officer met Christie, noting that the former officer had changed his tune and said he met the clergywoman in March of 2017, during cross-examination by Christie’s attorney, Alexander Shaw.

On that basis, the judge said the credibility of the officer would have to be tested and weighed in arriving at an overall verdict in the case.