Monday 17 February, 2020

Alleged gang leader 'paid cop to avoid being arrested'

A former member of the Uchence Wilson gang on Monday identified Police Corporal Lloyd Knight as the law enforcement officer who allegedly helped accused members of the gang, including Wilson, avoid arrest.

Knight was paid by Wilson to keep himself and his fellow gang members out of jail, according to the former gang member who is testifying via video link from a remote location for his own safety.  He is also a former taxi operator who said he was paid to transport gang members.

According to the prosecution witness, the second former gang member to testify via video link, Knight was paid to free gang members who were arrested. On one occasion, he said, he was told by gang member Fitzroy Scott that Wilson, having been arrested while on his way to a Caribbean island for vacation, paid Knight to ensure the case did not get before the court.

On another occasion, Knight’s intervention ensured a gang member who goes by the name Jason, was released, after he had been arrested. Wilson reportedly paid him. The court also heard that Knight would routinely tip off Wilson when the police were seeking to arrest him.

The witness told the court on Monday that Wilson, who is also called Terrence, told him that Knight was one of his links in the police force. He also said Knight would tell Wilson where to carry out robberies, the proceeds of which were shared with the policeman.

Knight is among 24 members of the gang on trial before Chief Justice Bryan Sykes in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston. They stand accused of robbing and extorting some $400 million across seven parishes between 2015 and 2017. Another policeman who was charged alongside them had gang-related charges against him withdrawn. He will be tried separately on other charges in June.

Several women, including Wilson’s girlfriend, are also being tried under the anti-gang legislation.

Evidence has so far been given of gang members staging more than a dozen robberies and shooting at least one male victim three times after he resisted being robbed. The trial has also heard that Wilson participated in the rape of a young woman while his gun was on the bed. The 19-year-old victim pleaded with him and another gang member not to impregnate her.

The trial has also heard that Wilson’s girlfriend, Shantol Gordon collected guns from gang members and transported them in her baby’s bag, after they had committed a robbery. The trial has also been told that Corporal Knight collected guns for the gangsters after they had committed robberies.

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