Shane Connor, of East End, on Monday abandoned his application to dismiss charges of aggravated burglary, robbery, possession of an unlicensed firearm, attempted burglary, theft and damage to property.
The charges stem from several incidents that occurred on 17 June 2017. Connor is alleged to have participated in a home invasion during which an elderly couple was bound to a chair, and robbed at gunpoint. Two other men previously pleaded guilty to the crime, and another was convicted following a trial.
Appearing in the Grand Court dock on Monday, Connor demanded that he be given a chance to put his concerns on the record, before he would enter any pleas. Justice Philip St. John-Stevens asked whether Connor’s attorney, Lee Halliday-Davis, was aware of what her client intended to say. Connor was warned that anything he said in open court could be used against him if he chose to go to trial. Connor replied that he had “served” his attorney with his statement, and then proceeded to list his demands.
“The police took statements from my parents about where I was on the night [of the home invasion],” said Connor, “I want the police to go and get those statements and produce them as evidence.”
Connor went on to demand that a Queen’s Counsel be added as the lead defence counsel in his matter, and that a DNA expert and a firearms expert be called to give evidence.
A total of 35 witnesses are listed in the indictment, and Connor demanded that all of them be asked to give evidence.
“I want all of them to give evidence from the [witness] box,” said Connor. “Nothing will be agreed, and nothing will be read into the record.”
Connor called for a swift resolution of the matter and the earliest possible court date. However, Department of Public Prosecutions Director Patrick Moran highlighted the difficulties that Connor’s demands posed.
“The trial of [another defendant] in this matter lasted for approximately four weeks,” said Moran. “During that trial, a significant amount of evidence was agreed by counsel, and was read into the record.”
“Several of the witnesses that are listed in Mr. Connor’s case are overseas and will require sometime to track down,” added Moran. “Therefore, it would be very difficult to say when and/or how long this trial would last if all 35 witnesses are to be called to give evidence.”
Connor said the prosecution’s bundles were lacking several items, such as statements from some witnesses, including police officers.
St. John-Stevens ordered that the prosecution serve the information requested.
While reading from his statement, Connor expressed his distrust with the way the prosecution has handled his case.
Moran later replied that the prosecution gave no comment on the matter, and that its silence was in no way a sign of admitting to or denying the concerns raised by Connor. The judge reassured Connor that the process was fair, and the courts would ensure that the matter is dealt with in a timely manner.
Connor went on to plead not guilty to all the charges.
He was remanded into custody and is expected to return to court in March.