Charged with attempted murder
Brothers Emmanuel Brown and Joshua Brown were found not guilty on Thursday of attempting to murder Mark Joseph Silburn behind the Matrix Night Club last November.
A Grand Court jury also found them not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm.
At the time of the incident, Joshua was 17 and Emmanuel was 19.
Mark, 27, was stabbed at least 11 times, with one of the wounds puncturing his lung. He required surgery and spent eight days in hospital.
No weapon was recovered. There was no eye witness evidence about the stabbing, which occurred on Saturday, 11 November. Police received an all-points bulletin to attend the scene around 11.40pm.
Both brothers called witnesses regarding their defence, which was that Joshua had left the scene before the incident and Emmanuel was never there.
Trial began on 3 July, with Chief Justice Anthony Smellie presiding.
The Crown’s case was that Joshua had done the stabbing and Emmanuel had been present, kicking Mark when he was on the ground.
Crown Counsel Trevor Ward conducted the Prosecution.
Mark was the main witness. He admitted that he had given different accounts of who had attacked him.
The investigating officer, who went to see Mark in hospital the night of the stabbing, did not take a written statement at that time. But he said Mark told him he was stabbed by Shoo-Shoo, his younger brother and Patrick.
Shoo-Shoo is Joshua’s nickname and he is in fact the younger of the two brothers.
Mark’s mother found out about the incident on Sunday morning and she went to see him. She asked who had done this. He told her Shoo-Shoo and the younger brother and another boy.
On Monday, 13 November, a police officer took a written statement from Mark. On that occasion, Mark did not name any person. He said there were three individuals and he would be able to identify them if he saw them again.
The officer giving this evidence said Mark was in pain and a bit irritable because of it, but he appeared coherent and able to understand.
As a result of this statement, the investigating officer took a further statement from Mark on 15 November. This time he named Joshua and Emmanuel, by their nicknames, and Patrick. The three were subsequently arrested.
Joshua and Emmanuel were charged after Mark picked them out of separate identification parades.
Later, Mark told the investigating officer that Patrick was not involved in the stabbing. Patrick’s girlfriend gave a statement as to his whereabouts the night of the incident.
Asked about his different statements, Mark said he knew Joshua and Emmanuel, so he wasn’t going to testify against them. He changed his mind because he said he was threatened by them when he was in the hospital and they threatened his mother, too.
Mark said he named Patrick because Patrick was going around telling people he had done the stabbing. ‘I was trying to get all of them,’ he said.
He maintained that he had seen both brothers inside the night club earlier. ‘They are brothers. If you see one, you see the other. They don’t go to Matrix by themselves,’ he told the court.
Defence Attorney Menelik Miller called as a witness a woman who said she had known the brothers for 10 years.
She said she went to Matrix the night of 11 November. She saw Joshua, but not Emmanuel. She did see Mark and Joshua speaking at one point. She also saw when a commotion started between Mark and another man named Clint.
She and a friend left the club about 11.15 – 11.20 and as she walked to the car, Joshua approached. He was not out of breath and there was nothing unusual about his clothing. He told her he had broken his curfew and didn’t want to get in trouble, so he asked for a ride home. She and her friend took him to his mother’s house, a 15-20 minute drive.
Defence Attorney Ailsa Williamson called Emmanuel’s aunt, with whom he had been living since after Hurricane Ivan because his mother’s house was still being repaired. The aunt said friends were visiting the yard and Emmanuel did not leave the neighbourhood.
A friend said he asked Emmanuel to go to out, but Emmanuel didn’t want to. The friend later went to Matrix; he did not see Emmanuel there.