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Jury shown CCTV footage of bloody bar brawl

A Supreme Court jury saw graphic CCTV footage yesterday of an attack in a Hamilton nightclub.

A silent courtroom watched a series of short clips taken from the Ambiance Lounge on August 12 last year that appeared to show Carlton Simmons stab Jahkeil Samuels.

Mr Simmons, the owner of the Angle Street bar, denies the attempted murder of Mr Samuels, 32, and the alternate charge of wounding Mr Samuels with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Detective Constable Christopher Sabean, of the Serious Crime Unit, identified Mr Samuels on colour CCTV footage as he entered the club through the front entrance with two other men.

Mr Sabean, who explained that the time-stamp on the videos was about an hour and a half behind the actual time, pointed out Mr Samuels wearing a red hat, a white T-shirt with a multicoloured pattern on the front, red shorts, and white and black sneakers.

In the next video, in black and white, Mr Sabean identified Mr Samuels as he walked down the stairs into the lower level of the club.

He then identified Mr Simmons, 40, standing behind the bar in the main bar area in the next clip and Mr Samuels on the other side as they appeared to speak for several minutes.

A short while later, Mr Simmons and Mr Samuels could be seen walking away from the bar area and back to the staircase.

Mr Sabean pointed out Mr Simmons, Mr Samuels and another man at the bottom of the staircase, where they were then joined by a fourth man.

Mr Samuels appeared to lash out at Mr Simmons and the next video showed a woman approach Mr Samuels from the top of the stairs and start to pull him away up the stairs.

Mr Simmons then appeared to lunge at Mr Samuels, arm raised, and make repeated stabbing motions towards his chest.

The group of people moved back down the stairs and another video showed them back in the main bar and dancefloor area.

Mr Sabean pointed out Mr Samuels and Mr Simmons “directly behind him” as the struggle appeared to continue to the bottom right of the screen.

The next clip showed Mr Simmons, with what appeared to be a wound to his head, at the bottom of the staircase, shutting the door to the bar.

Another video showed Mr Samuels, his shirt now red, leaving the club on to Angle Street, where he got on the back of a motorbike. The bike, with Mr Samuels apparently in the middle of two other people, then drove off after a police car pulled up.

Crown counsel Nicole Smith read out a statement by Police Constable Courtney Simmons, who seized the club's video recorder machine.

She also read out a statement by police Sergeant Rawle Massiah, who arrived at the club at about 4.35am and who said “there was a strong scent of blood” as he entered the club.

He said the walls, floors and railings were smeared with blood, with more blood and broken bottles visible the further he went into the club.

Ms Smith told the court on Monday that Mr Simmons was working at the nightclub just before 4am when Mr Samuels entered and the two began a conversation.

She said that a brawl broke out minutes later in which Mr Samuels punched Mr Simmons in the head before being pulled away.

Ms Smith added: “Mr Simmons had a bladed article in his hand and subsequently began stabbing Jahkeil Samuels multiple times.”

The Crown said that the alleged victim “sustained serious, serious injuries” in the fight.

Ms Smith told the jury that security footage seized by police “clearly shows that the behaviour and circumstances surrounding the altercation were such that the accused either intended to kill Jahkeil Samuels or, at the least, wound him with the intent to cause him serious harm”.

The trial, expected to take a week, continues.

It is The Royal Gazette's policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.

Former Hamilton alderman Carlton Simmons (File photograph)

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Published February 28, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated February 28, 2018 at 6:35 am)

Jury shown CCTV footage of bloody bar brawl

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