Jamaican Loses Privy Council Appeal of Murder Conviction

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By the Caribben Journal staff

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London has dismissed the appeal by Jamaican Samuel Robie of his conviction for the murder of Roy Bailey in 2003.

Robie was appealing his conviction on three grounds — that the judge did not direct the jury that he was a man of good character, that she failed to give the jury an adequate direction on the evidence of identification, and that his lawyer had been prevented from challenging the principal witness for the prosecution and that the judge had made unfairly prejudicial remarks in the course of her summing up.

The sole witness of the events of the crime was one Anthony Simms.

Simms said he saw Robie and another person ride up on a bicycle to Bailey, who had been sitting on a park bench early on the morning of Feb. 24, 2003.

Simms said he recognised Robie, who was armed with a meat chopper, and the other person was armed with a stabbing weapon.

According to Simms’ testimony, the two attacked Bailey while he was sitting, and followed him to continue the attack after he fled.

Bailey sustained nine serious injuries which caused his death.

Robie claimed an alibi; arguing that he was a tiler, had gone to Ocho Rios for a job at the beginning of January and did not return until the end of February, which was after the event occurred.

Following his conviction in 2005 in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston, Robie was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour.

In 2007, he applied for leave to appeal against conviction, but the Court of Appeal dismissed his application for leave to appeal against conviction, but substituted a sentence of life imprisonment with the stipulation that he was not eligible for parole for 15 years commencing in 2005.

At the time of trial, Robie was 30 years of age, and had no convictions, but the judge was not told that was the case, the court said in its opinion.

It was not until after Robie was convicted that this was made known to the judge.

Ultimately, the court denied all three counts on appeal, finding that the Court of Appeal, in upholding his conviction, was entitled to reach the conclusion it did.

The case was heard by Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Dame Janet Smith and Dame Heather Hallet.

Richard Onslow and Francisca Da Costa, instructed by Dorsey & Whitney (Europe) LLP, represented the appellant Robie, and Tom Poole, instructed by Charles Russell, represented the respondent prosecution.

The full opinion can be read here.