Home invasion trial begins

A screenshot of Shane Connor as he arrived for trial on 13 Sept.

The Grand Court trial has begun for Shane Connor, who is accused of breaking into an elderly couple’s home in Prospect while they slept and tying them to a chair before robbing them at gunpoint.

Appearing in the dock, Connor, of East End, listened as prosecutor Scott Wainwright opened the trial against him on 13 Sept.

“The defendant is one of three men who committed a series of offences on the night of 17 June 2017,” Wainwright told the jury.

He said Connor, together with Elmer Wright and Caine Thomas, first attempted to break into a home at about 12:01am on the date in question. From there the trio is said to have walked to the parking lot of the Marriott Beach Resort on West Bay Road, where they stole a Honda Civic.

“The final and by far most serious offence took place at the home of the elderly couple,” said Wainwright. “They were asleep in their beds when they awoke to find three men wearing masks and armed with handguns and a hammer.

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“One of the men told the couple he had already killed five people, and they would be number six and seven.”

The prosecutor added, “Another made suggestive advances at the woman, causing her and her husband to fear that she would also be the victim of a sexual assault. That man we say was the defendant, Shane Connor.”

Wainwright said the men made off with $35,000 worth of jewellery, cash and electronics, including an iPhone, which was tracked by the couple after the men fled their home.

The court heard that during a series of unrelated offences, and subsequent arrests, which ensued within 48 hours of the home invasion, police were able to gather enough information to link the crimes to the men.

“A fourth man, Nickel Thomas, who is the brother of Caine Thomas, is said to have played the role of lookout,” said Wainwright. “It was his job to keep an eye out for police… When officers arrested him a search of his telephone revealed WhatsApp messages between him and Mr. Connor.

“The defendant was later arrested and during his police interview he told officers he could not remember where he was on the night of the incident, but he was probably sleeping alone at a beach in East End.”

Connor denies the allegations and the trial is expected to last for three weeks.

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