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Breaks in alleged attack victim’s memory ‘normal’, jury told

Flaws in an alleged victim’s character or recollection should not distract jurors from the truth, a Supreme Court jury was told yesterday.

Alan Richards, for the Crown, said that Jamar Dill’s testimony, where he claimed to be beaten and set on fire, had substantial evidence and that any breaks in his memory were normal.

He said: “We, as humans, are not robots. We are not perfect in our recitation of the facts of past events on every occasion that we do.

“We may emphasise different parts of the story, but that’s not any indication that we’re lying — simply the natural process of repeating an account of the same event on multiple different occasions.

“It would be very strange, in fact, if these multiple accounts of the same events precisely coincided with each and every reiteration.”

Mr Richards added: “I do not ask you to feel sympathy for Mr Dill. I do not ask that you like him.

“I ask that you recognise that he is telling the truth — that he was attacked by these two defendants on September 9, 2019.”

Justin Cameron and Jahni Holder, both 27, have pleaded not guilty to causing Mr Dill grievous bodily harm and depriving him of his liberty.

During the trial, Mr Dill told the court that he was slapped, beaten and had his head shaved before being forced to wear a shirt soaked in lighter fluid that was set on fire.

He claimed that the incident, which was alleged to have happened at Mr Holder’s home, was done as punishment for losing several ounces of cannabis resin four days earlier.

Mr Richards said that Mr Dill tried his best to give accurate information, even if that meant revising earlier details or admitting he did not remember information.

He reminded the jury that while much of the evidence had been inconclusive, the alleged victim did not initially plan to go to the police and that the investigation started almost a week after the incident.

Charles Richardson, for Mr Holder, insisted that Mr Dill made up his testimony for a better life overseas in the witness protection programme.

He told the court: “That story has been tested for the first time in front of you.

“This isn’t a CSI crime show — all evidence seen was Jamar Dill’s side and there’s no independent evidence to support him.”

Mr Richardson pointed to the inconsistencies in Mr Dill’s evidence and that much of the information given on the stand was heard for the first time.

He said that Mr Dill would have said anything to stay out of jail after being caught with the drugs and receive a better life.

He said: “This is a person, I’m going to suggest to you, who’s got accustomed to telling lies and even tried to lie to you about why he told so many lies.”

Marc Daniels, for Mr Cameron, also looked at Mr Dill’s criminal record, which included fraudulent and violent offences — some of which were aimed at those who tried to help him.

He said that Mr Dill was untrustworthy and “willing to bite the hand that fed him”.

Mr Daniels added that his client showed a dislike for violence because of an attack he suffered in 2019.

The trial continues.

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