Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn, has indicated that all is in place for her office to successfully prosecute the 26 members of the Uchence Wilson gang arrested last December.
The gang had an extensive reach, causing chaos and fear for citizens in St Catherine, which was their base. Their onslaught of murders, rape, shootings and robberies extended to Clarendon, St Ann, Trelawny, St Mary, Manchester and St Andrew. They also racked up more than $400 million in stolen items.
While addressing police commissioners from the Caribbean on the difficulties of prosecuting gang-related cases in Jamaica, Llewellyn said that based on the circumstantial evidence that the prosecution has available to be used against the gangsters, she is hoping their attorneys will take advantage of certain provisions under the law.
“So, what we are hoping is that good sense will prevail and that the attorneys will be instructed by their clients to do the right thing and shorten the proceedings, but just in case they do not, we are ready. We are ready,” she disclosed at the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police Annual General Meeting and Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on Tuesday, May 1.
Ms Llewellyn exuded confidence as she disclosed that the case, which involves close to 40 charges, is being handled by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Jeremy Taylor.
“Up until now, nobody has been admitted to bail because the case is tight,” she explained.
Among those charged for their role in the gang’s nefarious activities are Detective Corporal Lloyd Knight and the alleged gang leader, Terrence ‘Uchence’ Wilson.
Wilson was slapped with charges of leadership of a criminal organization, 15 counts of facilitating serious offence by a criminal organization and five counts of illegal possession of firearm.
In the meantime, Llewellyn stressed that the relevant documents in the case have been handed over to the accused individuals’ respective legal teams to ensure that all will be ready for trial.
“We have done all the disclosure and, in fact, we did it by thumb drive, email and sent it to everybody. So they have all (the) abundant material(s) and the Crown is ready to prosecute the matter,” she said.
Llewellyn also used her presentation to also call for an amendment to the Anti-Gang Legislation to allow members of the security forces to search premises and to confiscate items linked to gang-related activities.
While indicating that the Anti-Gang Act, which was implemented four years ago, was still useful, she indicated that it forces the police to look to other avenues in obtaining a search warrant which they need to enter the premises of suspected gang leaders.