Engineer cleared of shooting charge

February 03, 2021

Attorney-at-law Courtney Rowe has urged the police to be more vigilant when making arrests on matters that could ruin an individual's life.

He was commenting after one of his clients, Michael Brown, 33, was acquitted of several charges in the Gun Court yesterday.

"Greater investigation needs to be done. There are police officers who carry out good investigation and then there are others that don't do so well. I am saying generally, we need to have greater and better investigations done when it comes on to incidents involving shootings and persons being present," Rowe told THE STAR via telephone.

Traumatised

Having gone through the rigours of a trial, along with spending 22 days in two separate police lock-ups, Brown, a chemical engineer, told THE STAR that the entire ordeal has turned his life upside down.

"Apart from being traumatised by being placed in a pressure spot for three weeks, there was significant loss of time at work which affected many things. It was extremely stressful for me, emotionally and mentally," said Brown. In addition to fighting for his innocence, Brown said that the inhumane conditions he had to endure while in lock-up took a toll on his health. As a result of a life-threatening accident that he suffered last year, he could only eat certain foods that were not available in lock-up.

"I was always worried about my health, having to share such a small space with so many people during this COVID-era. I had to sleep on the floor while resting my head on dirty garments," he said. Brown said he was shocked when the police arrested him on October 1, 2020, following claims that he aided and abetted another man in a shooting incident which took place in the community of Karachi, in Mona, St Andrew. He was officially charged on October 4 after a question-and-answer session in Rowe's presence.

But the judge upheld a no-case submission filed by the defence, who argued that the Crown had no evidence to support its claim. Rowe said that he has had discussions with his client in relation to a possible lawsuit against the State.

"He has not made up his mind about it. The situation is still fresh, he is just coming around to the reality that he is no longer an accused man before the courts. After that, we will take it forward," he said.

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