Robber getting 'nothing in return' for evidence

Marlon Dillon tells court his requests for help in reuniting with family have been denied

Marlon Dillon, who confessed to his own role in the 2012 robberies of WestStar Television Centre and Cayman National Bank, told a court on Friday that he was getting “nothing in return” for his evidence against four men he says were involved in the CNB robbery in which over a half million dollars was stolen. 

On trial are David Tamasa, Rennie Cole, George Mignott and Andre Burton. 

Questioned by defense attorney Laurence Aiolfi, he accepted that he had received a reduced sentence of three years and had completed it. He agreed that his greatest wish now was to be reunited with his wife and children, who are in the U.K. 

Asked if, in his mind, he could only join his family with the assistance of a government body in the Cayman Islands, Dillon replied, “I don’t believe this regime is going to support me being united with my family.”  

On Thursday, Tamasa’s attorney James Curtis had suggested that Dillon got a lighter sentence by giving evidence against the defendants and now hoped for further personal advantage. Dillon replied, “How can I hope, with a letter served on me from the Immigration Department?” 

On Friday, he stated further, “They are in the process of revoking my permanent residence and I will be deported after that.” Dillon, a Jamaican national, is married to a Caymanian. 

Mr. Aiolfi read from a letter written by Dillon’s attorneys in January 2013 to the governor of the Cayman Islands [then Duncan Taylor] expressing the belief that the governor could in Dillon’s circumstances grant him British Overseas Territories Citizenship to allow him to serve his sentence in the U.K. The letter also referred to Dillon needing a visa to enter the U.K. 

Asked if he agreed he had approached the governor, Dillon replied, “It was refused.” 

Asked if he continued to seek assistance, he queried, “How can I continue when it has been refused?” 

Mr. Aiolfi then read from a letter to the director of public prosecutions in which Dillon asked for assistance in getting to the U.K. He quoted, “I need some assurance from you that right after I give evidence, I will be given the right to reunite with my wife and children … the governor can facilitate me with a U.K. visa.” 

The attorney asked if Dillon were trying to negotiate for a benefit. Dillon replied, “And it was denied.” 

It was then suggested that Dillon was trying to position himself so he could assert that he had been of such assistance to the Crown that he was not like anyone else with two convictions.  

“I am doing what I am doing with nothing in return,” Dillon said, repeating that everything had been denied. “I’m not looking for any authority to do anything.”  

He explained his motive for giving evidence in response to previous questions. “It was unfair for me to go down and take the rap for everything,” he said. Later, he added, “I’m in this [witness] box because I want to assist the court and I believe I am doing the right thing.” 

Mr. Aiolfi asked if he had been offered somewhere to go other than the U.K. “It’s been denied,” Dillon said again, explaining: “My wife has denied it … She’s the decision-maker in the marriage.” 

The attorney then accused Dillon of lying for the purpose of getting assistance. “You’re inventing facts and distorting truth in ruthless disregard” for the defendants, he charged. 

Dillon repeated a response he used when Mr. Curtis pointed out inconsistencies and contradictions between Dillon’s various statements to police and evidence in court, accusing him of lying. He explained that, when he got a second chance to read his statements to police, “I corrected what I didn’t said [sic].” 

Mr. Curtis made his position plain: After Dillon’s own arrest, police had asked him to name the other people involved. He said Dillon was terrified of naming the real names, so he picked his friends, including David Tamasa, to accuse in both the WestStar and CNB robberies. Mr. Curtis accused Dillon of lying whenever it suited him and when he got caught out, he started a new lie. 

“No such thing, sir,” Dillon replied. 

The connection between the WestStar robbery on May 24, 2012, and the robbery at the Buckingham Square branch of CNB was clarified for jurors in a series of facts agreed to by the Crown and defense attorneys. Jurors received typed copies. 

Mr. Curtis also questioned Dillon about the WestStar robbery, saying he did so to test Dillon’s credibility.  

Dillon had named Tamasa and Mignott as being among those involved, and he gave evidence for the Crown in their trial. Mignott was acquitted by the judge and the Court of Appeal allowed Tamasa’s appeal against his conviction. 

Dillon agreed with Mr. Curtis that he had named another man as the driver carrying the robbers to and from the WestStar premises. That man was eventually charged, but after the WestStar trial, the decision was taken to discontinue the case against him. 

Dillon also agreed he had stated to police that he had been told the name of “the inside man” for the WestStar robbery. Someone with a variant of that name was investigated, but no meaningful link was established between him and the other accused. 

After jurors asked for a copy of the charges they had to deal with, Justice Ingrid Mangatal advised them that they had no decisions to make about the WestStar robbery. 

Dillon had completed his evidence in chief by commenting on closed circuit television footage from various camera angles at CNB the morning of the robbery on June 28, 2012. 

Jurors saw footage from the outside of the bank showing the arrival of a Toyota Windom reversing into a parking space in front of the bank and a van parking further away. Dillon identified the person leaving the van as Rennie Cole, who is later seen face to face with the guard inside the bank and then lying on the floor. 

He named Ryan Edwards, himself and George Mignott as the figures going into the bank, Mignott being the person carrying a short shotgun and Edwards carrying a handgun. 

He named Edwards as the person who jumped over the bank counter and seen later at a gated area where two women had been sitting and working. Dillon identified himself as the person demanding cash from the tellers. 

The last camera angle shows the men getting into the Toyota Windom and an armored vehicle blocking the Windom. The men are then seen getting out of the car. 

Mr. Aiolfi was scheduled to continue his questioning of Dillon on Monday morning. 

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