Ex-police officer’s appeal hearing rescheduled

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Convicted ex-police officer, Alexis “Big Foot” Thomas will have to wait at least another five months to argue his appeal against his conviction for attempted robbery and “harsh” sentence of 23 years in prison.
The Supreme Court has adjourned the matter until its next sitting in Antigua & Barbuda, which starts November 6.
The matter was put off because Thomas’ lawyers filed seven new grounds of appeal this month, and thus, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) told the court he needed more time to file written submissions in response to them.
These new grounds outlined by Thomas’ legal advocate, Lawrence Daniels, were only realised after the lawyer obtained the transcript of the trial and reviewed it thoroughly.
He had only filed four grounds of appeal initially and this was done to ensure the specified legal timeline was met and with the expectation of filing additional grounds.
Daniels said one of the critical arguments is where the prosecution failed to disclose certain evidence to the defence and court in advance of the trial and even during the presentation of the case to the jury – at least not until the defence mounted its case.
The President of the appeals panel, Justice Davidson Baptiste advised the lawyer that it was improper to file additional grounds of appeal without seeking leave/permission from the court to do so.
It was in September 2015, that the Corporal of 20 years service was convicted and ordered jailed for 23 years for attempting to rob Paradise Casino in July 2014 where he worked as a security guard.
Thomas, who was 39 at the time of his trial, insists he was wrongfully convicted.
The evidence at trial was that he walked into the establishment wearing a mask and hoodie, carrying a police-issued firearm, and demanded money.
Before he could get away with the loot, another officer who recognised him, shot him in the upper body several times before he ran out the establishment located on Market Street.
As he fled, he discarded the hoodie and later returned to the area, claiming he was shot by a masked, hooded man in an alley.

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