'Saddam' conviction a major win in St Catherine South crime fight
As they await the September 19 sentencing of Leonard ‘Saddam’ Airey, police personnel from the St Catherine South division said his absence from the Windsor Heights community will lessen the operations of the Stokely Collins-led ‘Night Time’ gang, which is said to have been extorting businesses in the area for almost a decade.
“The name ‘Saddam’ has always been featured in the operations of the gang. It was after we arrested him we realised who he was, and that he was also reporting to Hunts Bay on another shooting charge,” said Inspector Homer Morgan, naming Airey as a “top-tier” member of the gang.
From as far back as January 2013, St Catherine South Police’s Superintendent Collin Pinnock had said the gang, led by Collins, who was named as one of Area Five’s most-wanted men, was actively extorting businesses in Windsor Heights and Central Village, St Catherine.
Appearing in the Corporate Area Gun Court on Tuesday, July 23, ‘Saddam’ was found guilty of shooting with intent and illegal possession of firearm from a September 30, 2016, shootout involving St Catherine South Police Special Squad members, Detective Sergeant Cammendo Thoms and District Constable Jason McKay.
The case was heard by high court judge, Leighton Pusey, and conducted over two days, evidence led by Crown Counsel Tamara Merchant. Evidence given by the lawmen detailed the recovery of a sub-machine gun fired at McKay and Thoms, who were conducting intelligence gathering in an armoured unit. A round fired into the vehicle was matched with the weapon recovered on the scene.