Accused freed after witness changes story
A CARENAGE YOUTH who spent nearly five years in custody awaiting trial for murder was freed yesterday after one key prosecution witness changed his story and the other failed to appeal at the trial.
The judge upheld a no-case submission after the prosecution was unable to prove the case against Danville Jacobs. One of the main witnesses, Gaylene Roach, failed to obey the summons to attend court, while the other, Sheldon Hinds, changed his story at the Assizes.
Justice Melville Baird, presiding in the Port-of- Spain Third Assize Court; ordered that the proceedings of the trial be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) with a view to laying perjury charges against Hinds.
Jacobs was charged with the murder of Coldrick Caine at Upper Level Club, West Mall, on February 23, 1991. Senior State attorney Evans Welch prosecuted, while attorney Martin George represented the accused.
At the close of the prosecution’s case, George made a no-case submission. Welch conceded saying that in the best interest of justice, he could not ask the judge to send the case to the jury.
Welch said he had relied on two witnesses-Roach and Hinds. He said Roach, an eyewitness to the fatal stabbing, received a summons to attend court, but she never showed up.