Man on trial for allegedly possessing knife while in prison

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By Latrishka Thomas

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The trial of a former prisoner, charged for a knife he was allegedly found with while he was incarcerated, wrapped up yesterday after the court heard testimony from two witnesses.

Quaniel Joseph appeared before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh in the St John’s Magistrates’ Court for trial, and claimed that he did not own the contraband reportedly found in his cell on January 19, 2021.

First to be called to give evidence was a police constable stationed at Her Majesty’s Prison, who told the court that it was on information he received that he proceeded to cell 7 where the defendant was being housed.

He said that he met a prison officer carrying out a search on the defendant’s person but nothing illegal was found.

Joseph’s personal items were then searched and a four-and-a-half-inch blade was found.

The constable said the prison officer asked who the contraband belonged to and the defendant said it was his and further explained that he got it from the roof in his cell.

The prison officer who searched the defendant, testified to finding the knife in a bag which the defendant identified as his before the search even began.

He said that the knife was then found in the bag and was wrapped in a pair of blue boxer shorts.

He, too, swore that the defendant admitted to owning the weapon. 

But Joseph told the court the opposite. 

He said that seven persons stayed in the same cell with him and at the time that the officers came to his cell he was playing cards in another cell, but rushed over when he heard the ruckus.

Joseph confessed that the knife was found in his bag, but claimed that he did not know how it got there. He also stated that the pants in which the knife was concealed were not his either.

He denied having told the prison officer that the knife was his. 

He said that he told the officer “the knife is not mine; it come from up in the roof. There’s a hole in the roof over where I sleep”.

But the prison officer contended that even if the knife fell from the roof, it would not end up in his bag concealed in clothing.

Joseph will receive the Chief Magistrate’s decision on the matter today.  

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