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Man cleared of firearms offences

A man has been cleared of firearms and ammunition charges after a judge found that he had no case to answer.

A Supreme Court jury was directed yesterday to find Pelealkhai Williams, 33, not guilty after Acting Puisne Judge Mark Pettingill found that there was not enough evidence to prosecute him.

Mr Justice Pettingill told the jury that a key witness for the Crown gave evidence that was too inconsistent and the question of admissibility was raised.

He added that the witness’s evidence was ultimately deemed to be inadmissible.

Mr Justice Pettingill then said: “Sometimes it does get to the stage where I have to make a decision as to whether the evidence is there so that it can be fair in the interest of justice.

“I find that the evidence I have here is not sufficient to be able to prosecute Mr Williams.”

Mr Williams, whose trial started last Thursday, pleaded not guilty to possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition.

He was said to have been involved in a physical altercation with Jakai Harford during an alleged incident in St George’s during the early hours of December 12, 2020.

The jury heard initially that the alleged altercation ended with Mr Harford beating Mr Williams with a handgun before police arrived and arrested them.

Blood and ammunition was said to have been found in front of the St George’s residence where Mr Harford lived, as well as on the road in front of the house.

Cindy Clarke, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said that this sort of direction was not unprecedented in a Supreme Court trial, but could not comment on how often it takes place.

She added that the Department of Public Prosecutions was not considering an appeal at this time, but could if it received “new and compelling evidence”.

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