Ricketts found guilty

 Tareek Ricardo Ricketts was found guilty of murdering Jackson Rainford on the night of 16 December 2012.

After trial that began on 5 August, the jury of four men and eight women began their deliberations on Friday afternoon and then advised Justice Alexander Henderson that they wished to continue on Saturday at 3pm. They returned their verdict at 5.27pm. Ricketts, 22, was also found guilty of possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Mr. Rainford died of penetrating bullet wounds to the head and chest. He was shot while sitting in the passenger seat of his vehicle outside a residence on Shedden Road.

His brother, Che Rainford, was in the driver’s seat. He described the gunman to a police officer minutes after the shooting. He said he did not know his name, but the man was in a relationship with Jackson’s wife and drove an SUV with bright, shiny rims.

Defence counsel John Ryder had argued that this witness was sincere but mistaken.

Another person at the scene was the woman whom the Rainford brothers had given a ride home, Terina Tomlinson. She had been in a relationship with Tareek Ricketts, but that had ended earlier in 2012 although they maintained contact because they had two children together. Ms Tomlinson had recently begun seeing Jackson Rainford.

In his summing up to the jury, Justice Henderson said it was his opinion that her evidence was so clearly and fundamentally contradictory on the question of who, if anyone, she saw approaching the car on both the first and second occasions, that it was of no value and it would be unreasonable to put any weight on her evidence of identification.

However, the judge continued, it was their view that counted. If jurors did reject her evidence of identification, they might nevertheless accept her evidence on other aspects of the case, he pointed out.

The other Crown witness at the scene was Dale Vernon. Giving his evidence via video link, he said he was in the churchyard next door to Ms Tomlinson’s residence with Mr. Ricketts and another man before Ms Tomlinson returned home. He was helping to take her children to her door when he heard popping sounds and then realised they were gunshots.

His evidence put the defendant at the scene.

Mr. Ricketts, however, denied seeing Mr. Vernon that night. Taking the witness stand, he told the court he had waited alone for Ms Tomlinson and the children to return home. When they did not come, he left but his car broke down in the vicinity of Mango Tree, near where Shedden Road joins Crewe Road.

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