Fake taxi foul-up - Robbery car' not impounded
A judge was left baffled after hearing that a motor vehicle, allegedly used as a fake taxi by a man and a woman to rob a passenger, was released to family members of one of the accused.
The car was reportedly released before the matter was called up in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Friday.
The court was told that Cornell Smith and his co-accused Nickesha Duncan, who posed as a passenger, robbed a woman of three cellular phones, $25,000, and other personal belongings on Maxfield Avenue, after she had earlier boarded the vehicle in Half-Way Tree.
A few days after a report was made to the Half-Way Tree police, Smith and Duncan were arrested by officers who were on patrol.
It is reported that the vehicle they were sitting in matched the description of the fake taxi. They were later pointed out in an ID parade.
But Smith's lawyer contended that the car her client drives is of a different make and model than the one used in the robbery.
When judge Chester Crooks enquired about the whereabouts of the vehicle, Smith's lawyer said her client indicated that the car was released into the possession of his family. Puzzled, Crooks instructed the police liaison officer to find out the whereabouts of the vehicle.
"Even if it is from a common sense standpoint, one should have known that the vehicle should not have been released as it is a key piece of evidence," he said.
Crooks did not the grant the accused bail and they are to return to court on Friday.