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Edness fell at my feet, witness tells court

Prince Edness (Photograph by Olivia Rose)

Two men on a motorbike murdered a gang member and then opened fire on police as they tried to make their escape, a court has heard.

Jaquii Pearman Desilva and Joshua Usher are accused of the “cold-blooded” murder of Prince Edness on the evening of December 7 last year outside a home in South Avenue, Southampton.

Yesterday, a nearby resident described to the Supreme Court how Mr Edness ran towards him after being shot and fell to the ground at his feet.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told jurors that Mr Edness had walked into his front garden claiming to be looking for someone.

He said: “A few minutes later a motorbike came out of the Southampton Rangers entrance. The man who just walked up the steps was shouting at the people, ‘I am here, I am up here.’

“The impression I had was that he was beckoning them to come to see him.”

The witness described how the bike with two men on it then came up South Avenue and the pillion passenger shot Mr Edness.

He said: “I heard a bang, bang. The man was still talking to them when I heard the shots. I could see the flash coming off the gun.

“The guy who had been shot turned around and ran away towards me. There were further shots. Then he fell at my feet on his back.

“I bent down to speak to him. I asked him if he was all right, which in hindsight was a silly question.”

After the fatal shooting, Mr Desilva and Mr Usher are alleged to have shot at police who had set up a roadblock close to the Waterlot Inn.

Opening the case for the prosecution yesterday Kenlyn Swan told jurors that Mr Edness was a gang member and that he had been shot multiple times.

“The deceased Prince Edness was a member of the Parkside gang,” said Ms Swan. “But that gives no one permission to kill him.”

The court heard that Mr Edness had recently been released from Westgate when he was gunned down.

Ms Swan said: “At 8pm on December 7, 2014, Prince Edness attended the parking lot of Southampton Rangers. After an exchange between himself and a group of people in the parking lot, he left and walked across to a nearby residence.

“Shortly thereafter, a motorbike was seen leaving Southampton Rangers parking lot and was driving towards the same residence.

“The deceased could be heard shouting, ‘I’m here, right here,’ and within minutes a bike stopped and the passenger shot him multiple times, five or six times.

“We say the bike was carrying two men: Jaquii Desilva and Joshua Usher.”

The court heard that the two men on the bike fled the scene and drove west along South Road, before taking a right at Barnes Corner. Meanwhile, police had set up a roadblock close to the Waterlot Inn.

“The roadblock forced the two men on the bike to go into a private road,” said Ms Swan.

“Then we say Pearman Desilva raised his arm and fired shots at police causing them to retire and allowing the defendants to make their escape on foot.

“Pearman Desilva ran into a nearby house in the Riviera Estate area.”

Jurors were told that Mr Desilva then moved to his girlfriend’s house where police later seized a bandanna and a bike helmet that had particles of gunshot residue and Desilva’s DNA.

He was later arrested as he fled the Clearview guesthouses, the court heard. Ms Swan said: “Pearman Desilva was at the Clearview guesthouses when police attended.

“He jumped over the balcony and down to an embankment and over a 50ft drop into the ocean to evade officers. However, he was arrested.”

Yesterday, jurors were shown pictures of the crime scene as well as photographs of the deceased and his injuries.

A second witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court that she had seen Mr Edness at the Southampton Rangers parking lot on the night of his death and said he seemed “angry”.

The witness added: “He was shouting repeatedly ‘you know me’. She told the jury that she had seen Mr Edness four times since he had been released from Westgate and he had seemed “calm and sociable” on those occasions.

Mr Desilva, 20, and Mr Usher, 22, both deny murder, two counts of using a firearm to commit an indictable offence, possession of a prohibited weapon and possession of ammunition.

The case continues.

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