Both the original and copy files of the caution statements given by the man who’s accused of killing six people in St. Thomas in 2006 are missing.
Yesterday the trial adjourned early. This was done to facilitate submissions from the Crown in its efforts to admit the only copies of McLean’s caution statements still available. The only available statements are the typed versions belonging to the then Acting Deputy Superintendent in charge of crime in St. Thomas, Carlos Bell.
The defence is objecting to the admission of these copied caution statements. Yesterday it was revealed that the original files were missing. However, today it was also disclosed that the copies are also missing.
Mr. Bell in his Evidence-in-Chief says the original and copied versions of McLean’s statements were taken to the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Court in Half Way Tree in 2006 for submission and hearing. He says since then he has not seen any of the files.
Mr. Bell told the court over the last two to three years he has tried to locate the files on at least 10 separate occasions. The retired policeman says he has checked the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Court and the Morant Bay Criminal Investigation Branch office. The missing caution statements were taken from McLean on March 2, 2006. Mr. Bell said he recorded McLean’s caution statement.
Bell told the court that while taking the statement, McLean stopped him and told him and the others he needed to take them to where the last victim, Jihad McCool was buried.
The retired policeman says the accused led them to what he described as a ‘cow pasture’ off a main road in St. Mary. He said McLean went into the open field and pointed to the spot where the young child was buried.
The retired lawman told the court at that point, the other officer cautioned the accused telling him ‘you are not obliged to say anything unless you wish to do so, but whatever you say may be taken in writing and may be given in evidence.’ Mr. Bell said McLean then said ‘certain things.’
However what he said cannot be stated in court as the original written evidence of that is missing.
It’s to be decided following the Prosecution’s submissions if what McLean said on that day will be used as evidence.
Meanwhile, today forensic pathologist Dr. S.N. Prasad Kadiyala who conducted Jihad’s post-mortem revealed that the child died from asphyxia.