Cop denies knowing reputed gang leader

CHIEF Justice Bryan Sykes was amazed yesterday by an admission from Corporal Lloyd Knight that he had never heard the name Uchence Wilson or known of the Uchence Wilson gang before appearing in court in connection with the matter.

The detective corporal, who has worked at five different police stations in the St Catherine North Police Division over his 23-year career, was arrested and charged in December 2017 for allegedly being a member of the criminal organisation and for allegedly benefiting from the gang.

Knight also denied knowing any of the alleged members of the gang, except Wilson’s girlfriend Shantol Gordon.

“I did not know of him before this case started,” he said under cross-examination.

He also indicated that he did not know of Wilson in 2017 or was familiar with him even as a suspect and further denied picking up Wilson and releasing him.

Justice Sykes was seemingly intrigued by Knight’s admission that he had never heard of Wilson and questioned him at length.

“During all this time you never heard of this organisation?” he asked.

“I know about other gangs but not about this one,” Knight answered while explaining that he was aware of gangs such as Unity, One Order, Clansman and another that he now could not recall.

The judge then asked him if he had heard about the robbery on the Polo Ranch in Linstead and Knight admitted that he had heard about the robbery but did not know who the perpetrators were.

The police officer was further asked if he had not received any information from the intelligence unit in the division regarding who the culprits were and he said no.

“This sounds absolutely remarkable to me that a number of these incidents took place and you didn’t hear about any of them,” Justice Sykes said.

Knight then acknowledged that he had heard about some of the incidents.

“Oh, you heard about some, but if what you are telling me is true then we are really in a sad place,” the judge remarked.

“We know about Polo Ranch incident but didn’t know who was responsible,” Lloyd insisted.

The judge again asked if the intelligence had not indicated that it might have been done by a criminal organisation and Knight said he was told that it might have been done by a group of men.

Knight also told the judge that he was never told that the same group of men might be responsible for robberies in Glengoffe in St Catherine or in other parts of the division.

In fact Knight told the court that he even went on a few of the scenes but during re-examination from the prosecutors said he could not say which one of the incidents he had been investigating and would need specifics dates.

The judge also asked Knight if he knew his co-accused and called their names individually to him but he maintained that he had not heard them before.

“So until you were arrested you never heard their names, in fact you might have never heard their name until you came to court.

“And lo and behold you were shocked and surprised to see all these men?” the judge continued

“Yes sir,” Knight replied.

The police officer who was last assigned to the Spanish Town Police Station also told the court during his testimony that he was never in the gang and denied collecting money and phone cards from one of the ex-members turned Crown witness when they allegedly met in a blue service vehicle with Wilson.

He also denied the Crown witness’ testimony that the money was payment for the release of a car belonging to accused, Fitzroy Scott, the alleged deputy leader of the gang.

As it relates to how he came to know Gordon, he told the court that he met her one day while he was standing in front of the Linstead Police Station.

“I must confess at the time I saw her she catches the eye,” he said.

Gordon during her testimony had told the court that they had flirted with each other briefly.

Jermaine Stewart, an employee from a pawn shop in Kingston, accused of pawning, loaning and redeeming stolen items for the gang, also took the witness stand in his own defence and denied providing a benefit to the gang and knowing of the gang.

According to him, he was also not aware that the ex- member who he had dealt with on a number of occasions was a member of a gang.

He also denied testimony from that same ex-member that he was told that the items were stolen and had asked to meet the “Boss” and had been introduced to Wilson.

Stewart said he had never met or knew Wilson but when he was shown four contracts for transactions that he had done for Wilson admitted that he was the person who had signed the contracts.

The trial will continue today.