Murder trial witness branded a liar
A witness in a murder trial was branded a liar by the defendant’s lawyer yesterday.
Jerome Lynch QC accused Troy Harris of dishonesty in his evidence against Khyri Smith-Williams, who is charged with shooting Colford Ferguson as he worked on a building job.
Mr Lynch told Mr Harris: “You have lied to police in the interviews you gave them and lied to the jury in the same way.”
He highlighted apparent differences in statements Mr Harris had made in two police interviews and during his evidence in court.
Mr Lynch questioned Mr Harris’s testimony from Tuesday about the first time police had visited him in the UK about the murder.
He asked Mr Harris: “Do you remember saying you had no idea why they were there at all?”
Mr Harris said: “I don’t know why they came at the time.”
Mr Lynch referred to a transcript of the police interview that said Mr Harris had invited police to speak to him.
He asked the witness: “Do you agree that what you told police is different from what you provided yesterday?
“You told the jury yesterday that you had no idea police were coming.”
Mr Harris explained that he knew that he would be providing information to police — but that he did not know exactly when they would be coming to interview him.
Mr Lynch also questioned Mr Harris’s friendship with Mr Smith-Williams.
Mr Harris told the court earlier that he had met Mr Smith-Williams when he was aged 10 or 11.
Mr Lynch asked if Mr Harris knew that around that age his client had lived in Austria.
Mr Harris said that he did not know that Mr Smith-Williams had lived overseas.
Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves interrupted and told Mr Lynch: “I don’t know where you are going with this.”
Mr Justice Greaves added: “Let’s move on.”
But Mr Lynch explained that he was trying to highlight that people said to be good friends knew about one another’s lives.
Mr Harris, a former gang member, told the court on Tuesday that he had been shot in November 2015.
But he said that he did not know who had pulled the trigger.
Mr Lynch asked Mr Harris why he had not gone to his “good friend” Mr Smith-Williams afterwards to try and identify who was responsible. He added: “And yet the same person volunteered to you information about somebody that he says he was involved in shooting?”
Mr Harris replied: “Yes sir — 150 per cent.”
Mr Lynch also asked if Mr Harris had followed the news to research the shooting of Mr Ferguson.
Mr Harris said “No. I don’t need to.”
Mr Ferguson, 29, a father of one, was shot as he worked on house near the junction of Mangrove Bay Road and East Shore Road in Somerset in February 2011.
Mr Smith-Williams, 27, is charged with premeditated murder and the use of a firearm to commit an indictable offence.
He denies both charges.
Mr Harris said that Mr Smith-Williams had confessed his involvement in the killing to him.
He added that Mr Smith-Williams had told him it was another man, Rasheed Muhammad, who pulled the trigger and that Mr Ferguson was the victim of mistaken identity.
Mr Lynch suggested that Mr Harris, who is serving a jail term in the UK, was motivated to give evidence against Mr Smith-Williams to make his own situation better.
But Mr Harris told him that committing perjury could lead to his own prosecution.
He added that he would be returned to Britain after the trial to serve out the rest of his sentence.
Mr Harris also insisted that he had not been offered incentives for his co-operation in the case.
He said that it was his conscience that motivated him to come forward.
The trial continues.
• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.
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