Alleged victim accused of fabricating story to get a new life overseas
A man who claimed he was “set ablaze and tortured” for losing a consignment of drugs has been accused of fabricating his story to obtain a new life overseas through witness protection.
Jamar Malik Dill told a Supreme Court jury that he was beaten and tortured by Justin Cameron and Jahni Holder over several ounces of hashish seized by police.
He said the drugs had belonged to another man formerly accused alongside the defendants.
In addition to the cannabis resin, police found traces of cocaine on a scale at Mr Dill’s residence.
Both Mr Cameron and Mr Holder, both 27, have denied causing him grievous bodily harm and depriving him of his liberty on September 9, 2019 – four days after Mr Dill was arrested for possession of cannabis resin.
Mr Dill has maintained that his shirt was doused in lighter fluid and set on fire by Mr Holder as a reprisal.
He said the “ultimatum” over the loss of the drugs included a demand for him to rob a gas station, and threats ranging from locking him in a shed, violating him with a hoe handle and forcing him to eat dog faeces.
Mr Dill’s evidence is that he was slapped and beaten, had his hair chopped off and was burnt about the torso.
But Charles Richardson, defending Mr Holder, highlighted inconsistencies in Mr Dill’s police interviews on how he said he was told to dispose of the evidence of the attack, including burnt clothing.
He initially told police the bag of evidence had been thrown into a church dumpster near Mr Holder’s house.
In later interviews he said he had dropped the bag, which was never recovered by police, over the boundary of his Pembroke property.
Yesterday in court, Mr Dill said the bag containing the burnt clothing and other items from the attack had gone out with the trash.
He said variations in his account in different police interviews came from trauma.
But Mr Richardson told him: “You messed up pretty bad when you told police you had all the evidence neatly packaged.
“You messed up when you told them you put it in the dumpster – you didn’t think they would go dumpster diving.”
He told the witness: “The reason this magic bag that has everything to prove your story has not been found is because it never existed. You made it up.”
Mr Dill responded: “That’s not true.”
The defence disputed whether lighter fluid could have ignited in the way Mr Dill described.
Mr Dill said: “It all does the same thing. It burnt me up.”
He offered to show his scars from the burns, adding: “I have no reason to lie.”
Mr Richardson said: “You’re sure you didn’t blow yourself up cooking some crack?”
The witness denied that his injuries had been drug related, repeatedly telling the court the defendants had beaten and tortured him.
Earlier in the cross examination, Mr Dill admitted his quality of life had been improved because of his co-operation in the case.
He now lives overseas and has received a housing allowance.
“It was contingent on you coming here and following through on this case,” Mr Richardson said.
“I would not say that,” Mr Dill said. “The two defendants there done what they done, and they are going to be held to the consequences.”
Mr Richardson said getting caught by police with seven ounces of hashish could have drawn a couple of years in jail.
“You never saw the inside of a courtroom for that,” he added.
The court heard that after his burns, a police officer visited Mr Dill and secretly recorded their discussion.
Mr Dill admitted to telling the officer untruths but said he was “trying to protect the defendants in the box, because I feared for my life”.
He was also challenged on his account of seeking medical advice for his burns after initially saying the doctor instructed him to get a medical cream for his injuries.
“He would have told you to go to the hospital,” Mr Richardson said, with Mr Dill responding: “He told me to get cream and then go to the hospital.”
Mr Richardson accused him of changing his story “now that you see how silly it sounds”.
The defence maintained the burning had not involved Mr Holder and that Mr Dill had not been assaulted on the property.
Mr Richardson told him: “You got exactly what you wanted to get out of this – a new life.
“That new life came at the price of you coming here to give evidence against these men.”
But Mr Dill repeatedly denied it, adding: “I didn’t do this to myself. They done this to me. That’s the truth.”
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