Detective: I made no promises to witness

The lead officer in an investigation into a brutal stabbing denied yesterday that a witness had asked for probation in exchange for evidence.

Detective Sergeant Jason Smith told the court he spoke to the witness while he was behind bars, but that no promises were made.

Mr Smith said: “I thought it was an honourable thing to tell us about the case as a witness.”

The witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court last week that Alex Wolffe, 20, admitted his involvement in the stabbing of bartender Borislav Angelov.

Mr Smith said that, even though the witness had said there was another inmate in the area when Mr Wolffe made his confession, he did not try to question him.

He explained that might have exposed the identity of the witness. Ms Mulligan asked if Mr Smith was aware the witness had a history of dishonesty offences and that he “made a living from being dishonest”.

Mr Smith said: “He does have a criminal history, yes.”

He added: “What led me to believe what he was saying was accurate was, even if he knew the content of the newspaper, there were things that were not reported that, as the senior investigating officer, I was aware of, and my team was aware of.

“It could only come from a person who was at the scene of the incident.”

Mr Angelov was stabbed 13 times on the patio of his home on Harbour Road, Paget, in the early hours of October 23 last year after he was chased along Harbour Road by two men on a motorbike, as he returned from work in Dockyard.

Mr Smith said some examples were the description of one of the suspects wearing a “mask” and that the suspects had chased another motorcyclist before they targeted Mr Angelov.

He added the timing of events given by the witness tallied with what investigators believed happened.

Mr Smith said: “I knew there was less than five minutes between following the first vehicle and when Mr Angelov was coming down.

“What the witness said in the interview was [that] Mr Wolffe and another man tried to stop one man first and then a moment or two later there was Mr Angelov and they followed him.”

Mr Smith denied that the witness had asked for probation.

Mr Smith said: “If anything, he might have mentioned that he was going up for a court mention the next day.

“In any event, I cannot give him probation, so I couldn’t help him.

“It’s not about making him any promises or giving him any other false hopes. We were talking with him about another matter and that was it.”

However Mr Milligan highlighted Mr Smith’s notes of the meeting, which included a reference to probation and the name of the probation officer for the witness. Mr Smith said the subject of probation may have been brought up.

He added: “In terms of me offering him any probation or about me speaking on his behalf about probation, that didn’t happen.”

Mr Smith also confirmed that items seized in Mr Wolffe’s bedroom, including a black-handled knife, were sent to a laboratory to be tested for blood.

He said that the tests did not find blood traces, so no further tests were ordered.

Mr Wolffe denies charges of wounding, attempted robbery and two counts of intimidation.

The trial continues.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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