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March 31, 2014
Star News


Court hears that ... Man killed by soldier's helmet

Rasbert Turner, Star Writer

A Jamaica Defence Force soldier accused of using his helmet to hit a man to death was granted bail in the sum of $700,000 in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate's Court on Friday.

The soldier, Corporal Kevin Gardener, is charged with the death of Kevin O'Connor, a 21-year-old vendor, of West Prospect in Bog Walk, St Catherine.

When Gardener appeared before Resident Magistrate Vaughn Smith, he pleaded not guilty to murder.

His lawyer, Vincent Wellesley, made a successful bail application on his behalf. Wellesley told the court that at the time of the alleged incident, his client was acting in self-defence after being attacked by O'Connor.

RM Smith then granted bail on condition that Gardener surrenders his travel documents to the police and return to court on May 20, 2014, when the matter will again be mentioned.

It is being alleged that on September 13, last year, Gardener was among police personnel who went and rescued O'Connor from an angry mob that had beaten him after he refused to pay his bus fare.

The court heard that Gardener was taken to a police post near the Spanish Town bus terminus. It was further heard that he was reportedly hit by Gardener. He was taken to the Spanish Town Hospital where he succumbed to injuries received.

An investigation was conducted by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) which resulted in Gardener being charged.

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