Case details

Clarke and others (Appellants) v The State (Respondent) (Trinidad and Tobago)

Case ID: JCPC 2017/0012

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Case summary

Issue

(1) Whether the convictions of Mr Clarke and Mr Martin ("the applicants") are unsafe on the grounds that (i) the defence was prevented from cross-examining the key prosecution witness about false statements he had made (ground A); (ii) the prosecution did not decide until after counsels' speeches to put the case on the basis of joint enterprise rather than felony murder (ground B); (iii) the judge misdirected the jury on the elements of joint enterprise homicide (ground C); and/or (iv) the jury's decision was inconsistent and/or indicated that they had disregarded the judge’s directions (ground D).
(2) Whether the judge erred in failing to give the applicants credit towards their sentence for the time they spent in custody awaiting trial (ground E).
(3) Whether Mr McGillvery can belatedly join their appeals on ground A only.

Facts

The applicants were tried with seven other men for murder. The case against the applicants was that, pursuant to a plan orchestrated by one of their co-accused, Mr Boodram, they kidnapped the victim and handed her over to other gang members who threatened, assaulted and ultimately killed her. The applicants’ involvement ended once they had handed over the victim. The applicants were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to thirty years’ imprisonment with hard labour. The jury was unable to reach a verdict in relation to Mr Boodram and some gang members allegedly involved in the infliction of violence leading to the victim’s death. The applicants’ appeals against conviction to the Court of Appeal were dismissed. On 8 February 2018, the JCPC granted the applicants permission to appeal on ground A, refusing permission on all other grounds. The third individual who was convicted of manslaughter in the same trial as the applicants (and whose conviction was upheld on appeal) was Steve McGillvery. No application for permission to appeal was made on his behalf at the time because Mr McGillvery had escaped from prison on 31 August 2015. He was recaptured by police on 21 July 2017. By an application dated 1 March 2019, Mr McGillvery seeks to be joined to the appeals concerning the applicants, relying on ground A as the sole basis of permission to appeal to the JCPC.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Clarke and others

Respondent(s)

The State

Appeal

Justices

Lord Lloyd Jones, Lord Leggatt, Lord Burrows, Lord Stephens, Lady Rose

Hearing start date

05 May 2021

Hearing finish date

05 May 2021

 
Watch hearing
05 May 2021 Morning session