By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Court of Appeal has affirmed the 2015 convictions and subsequent sentences of a man found guilty of the 2015 fatal stabbing of another man in the Rand Memorial Hospital's parking lot.
Rashid Farrington stabbed two men, one fatally, in trying to evade capture after he snatched a woman's handbag as she assisted her mother out of a vehicle in the hospital's parking lot.
The woman began screaming for help and caught the attention of two men standing nearby, the ruling said. The two men were able to apprehend the thief and as they did, he fell. The woman's handbag was returned to her. At this stage, both men saw the thief's face, the ruling noted, and the assailant fatally stabbed one of them and injured a third man who had come on scene. The assailant escaped but the third man followed him to a nearby apartment complex called Garden Villas but "returned when he heard him ask someone to get his gun," the ruling added.
Following his escape from the scene, Farrington was identified by witnesses during an identification parade.
Additionally, a fingerprint found on the car door of the woman who was robbed matched Farrington.
In his appeal, the appellant raised issues with how evidence was identified in the case, the wanted posters shown to witnesses when he was identified, the clothing used in the identification parade and the finger print evidence, among other things.
The Court of Appeal, in a ruling published on its website this week, dismissed the appeal and affirmed the convictions of murder, stealing and causing harm.
The ruling noted the facts which gave rise to the offences are, based on the record of the trial, "fairly straight forward."
In answering the question of whether the verdict in the case was unsafe and unreasonable, the ruling further noted that in spite of the failure of the trial judge to deal robustly with the defects in the identification as it relates to the conduct of the ID parade, it ruled the convictions should not be set aside on this basis.
"Significantly, this was more a case of recognition by both of the prosecution's main witnesses. They knew the appellant," the ruling notes.
"They were involved in retrieving the bag that was stolen from the virtual complainant and they both had an opportunity at close quarters, albeit for very short periods of time, to recognise the appellant.
"The incident that initiated the identification was the theft of the bag and that resulted in hot pursuit of the thief who turned out to also be the killer and the person who caused harm to (the deceased)."
The ruling continued: "The jury had a chance to see these witnesses testify and the appellant chose not to give evidence.
"These are circumstances which would compel the application of the proviso even if the complaint about the direction to the jury as to the conduct of the parade was flawed, since the two witnesses would have identified the appellant even if the parade was properly conducted."
Given the circumstances, the court ruled to dismiss the appeal and affirmed the convictions and sentencing.
Farrington, 30, was found guilty of the murder of 40-year-old Lamorn Moxey on September 25, 2015.
He was sentenced to 45 years on the charge.
He was also found guilty of stealing and causing harm, for which he was sentenced to ten years and one year, respectively.
The sentences were slated to run concurrently.