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Murder suspects fired at car – officer

A police officer has described how he chased down two suspects on a motorbike through Southampton at speeds of more than 90km/h before the pillion passenger opened fire at him.

Sergeant Minton Gilbert told jurors bullets hit his car as he tried to get out of the line of fire and the duo escaped on foot after abandoning their motorbike.

Prosecutors say the two men on the motorbike were Jaquii Pearman Desilva and Joshua Usher and that the pair had just murdered Prince Edness when they led police on a high-speed chase. It is alleged Mr Desilva shot at police close to the Waterlot Inn.

Yesterday Sergeant Gilbert told Supreme Court he was in a marked police car near Church Bay when a motorcycle with two people on board sped passed him in the other direction.

“At that time I had received a radio message that gunshots had been fired and a person had been injured,” he said.

“As I passed Tribe Road No 3, a motorbike travelling in the opposite direction came around the bend at speed on the wrong side of the road. I reversed my car and pursued them.”

Sergeant Gilbert said he activated his emergency siren and lights and chased the motorbike as it headed towards Barnes Corner and east along Middle Road. He told the jury the passenger and the driver’s faces were covered by the visors of their helmets. “The motorcycle became stuck as a result of all the traffic (near the Waterlot Inn),” Sergeant Gilbert said. “The cycle made a u-turn and attempted to travel back west.

“I positioned my vehicle in such a manner that they could not pass and forced the cycle to turn into a private road. At this time the bike was approximately 10ft away from me and I saw the passenger point something at me.

“It was only when it was discharged twice that I realised it was a firearm and I felt the impact of the rounds hitting my police vehicle.”

The jury has been told that both Mr Desilva and Mr Usher fled the scene, with Mr Desilva seeking refuge in a nearby property.

Yesterday, Tillie Caisey told the court she was at her Riviera Road home at around 8.30pm on December 7 when she heard a knock on the door.

“I asked who it was and the person said ‘Marcus’,” she said. “That’s the name of my fiance’s son.

“I opened the door and there was a young man standing outside. I didn’t know who he was.”

She said the man — now known to be Mr Desilva — was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black jeans and black high-tops and was holding a black helmet. He asked if he could come inside.

“I told him no because I didn’t know him,” she said. “He started to tell me that he was a young guy that goes on my fiance’s fishing boat with Marcus.”

Ms Caisey let the young man inside, and as he went to enter she noticed he had vomit on one of his pant legs.

“He asked me if he could sit down and if I could please close the door,” she told the court. “I told him to hold on a moment. Let me get him some newspaper or a cloth because I wasn’t going to have him getting vomit on my furniture.”

At just before 9pm she said she received a call from a friend saying there had been a shooting at Rangers and Prince Edness had been killed. She told the court she repeated it aloud and saw Mr Desilva react.

“He asked me who got shot,” she said. “I said Prince. When I told him it was Prince he broke right down. He was crying. He was very upset.”

Ms Caisey told the court Mr Desilva spoke about Mr Edness saying: “He wasn’t all bad. Everyone said he was bad but he did have some good in him.”

She said Mr Desilva talked about his family but never gave her his full name, saying people called him Jaquii or “Qua”.

Asked how she felt about the incident, she said: “I was a bit uneasy, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions. I wasn’t sure.”

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.