An elderly woman told the court on Tuesday that one of the men accused of being a member of the One Don fraction of the Clansman Gang was not a gangster to her knowledge. In fact, the man she knew was a “calm” individual who attended weekly prayer meetings at her house.
The woman who gave her testimony on the witness stand was summoned to give character evidence for Dylon McLean in the ongoing Clansman Gang trial in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.
Since the trial began in September 2021, the defence team for 24 of the 28 accused gang members have concluded their cases and responses to the prosecutor’s evidence.
Last Thursday, McLean made an unsworn statement, proclaiming his innocence and indicating that he was working as a warehouse attendant up to when he was arrested and charged.
The elderly woman testified that She was a resident of Jones Avenue in Spanish Town, St Catherine for more than 50 years. Telling the court she has known McLean since he was only a boy, she added that she would see McLean, in his adult years, sitting under a mango tree “almost every day”.
Similarly, McLean told the court on Thursday that he hardly left his house and every day he mostly spent his time sitting under a tree connecting to his neighbour’s Wi-Fi.
The woman also continued to say that she and McLean, who she said is an easy person to get along with, very frequently interacted and on Fridays he and his cousins would visit her home for weekly prayer meetings.
Although she was shocked to hear that McLean was arrested and charged with being part of a criminal organization, she was not worried because she knew “the law will have its course, and after a time, they will let him go.”
The testimony outlined McLean not having many friends and him being a man of soft words as she hardly ever heard him speak loudly unless he was having disagreements with his relatives. She also indicated that she has never seen McLean with a gun.
Last week, McLean also denied ever holding a gun and denied ever firing a gun ever in his life.
However, a former gangster who is currently a state witness had testified that McLean was not only an active member of the gang, but he also provided the other gang members with an escape from the police through a secret escape route behind his house in Jones Avenue that they often used.
The former gangster also said that he saw McLean removing an Intra Tech gun from his roof.
While the two former gangsters who testified claimed to know the accused, McLean denied knowing the witnesses who testified against him. He also said he hardly left his house when he lived at Jones Avenue.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes scolded the defence team for not sufficiently preparing their case as he said the relevant records should have been available long before the defence started responding to the prosecution case.
The attorney did not present records from the Spanish Town Police Station in court, and the creator of the Horizon Remand Centre records was not available to testify.
Sykes subsequently gave the remaining defence attorneys until July 4th to prepare their cases.
The 28 accused are being tried under the anti-gang legislation, legally called the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisation Act). The indictment contains several counts and the offences were allegedly committed between January 1, 2015, and June 30, 2019. Most of the offences occurred mostly in St Catherine and at least one murder was committed in St Andrew.