The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) yesterday quashed the convictions of two men – Vincent Edwards and Richard Haynes – who were sentenced to death for murder committed in Barbados in 2006.
The men were set free yesterday, after being imprisoned since 2007. They were charged for the murder of Damien Alleyne on July 21, 2007, almost a year after Alleyne’s death on August 11, 2006.
According to a report by the Barbados Nation newspaper, the court records stated that Alleyne was discovered by his girlfriend not far from her residence on the night of August 11, 2006.
She told the police that she heard explosions, which sounded like gunshots and later found him lying on the road. He was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
Following their arrest Edwards and Haynes were convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
On August 19, 2015, the appellants sought leave to appeal to the CCJ.
The regional court, in handing down its ruling, held that the convictions could not be upheld as the sole evidence presented by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was “not sufficient to ground a conviction having regard to the provisions and the general spirit of the Evidence Act”.
In a statement, the CCJ said the only evidence linking the appellants to the murder was their alleged oral confessions made to police officers in separate interviews with the officers while at a police station July 19, 2007 – almost a year after Alleyne’s murder.