Questions of identity leads Crown to drop charges against accused armed robber
Charges have been dropped against a man who had been accused of holding up a convenience store with a gun.
The Crown made the revelation Tuesday in provincial court in St. John’s in the case of Sean Terrence Frampton.
Prosecutor Sheldon Steeves told Judge Jim Walsh that the decision was made due to the store clerk’s inability to positively identify the suspect.
“It’s unsafe to convict, given the concession of the complainant,” the judge said.
Frampton had faced charges of armed robbery, having his face masked, possessing a weapon dangerous to the public, breaching a recognizance and breaching conditions of his probation.
He was suspected in an armed robbery that happened Nov. 3, 2013, at Clara’s Mini Mart at the corner of Blackmarsh Road and Mundy Pond Road in St. John’s.
During the trial last week, the clerk told the court that she was behind the counter when a man came into the store wearing black and white skeleton gloves and a skeleton handkerchief over his face. She said he pointed a gun in her face, threw a small, grey plastic bag at her and demanded she put money in it.
“At first, I thought the gun was fake. I had never seen a real one before,” she said
She said as he was giving her the bag, his handkerchief slipped down to his chin, allowing her to see his face.
She said it was Frampton and that she recognized him from the neighbourhood, but only knew him by his street name, “Smash.” She texted her boyfriend to help refresh her memory about what Smash’s real name was. He told her it was Sean Frampton.
When asked by Crown prosecutor if she was sure Frampton was the armed robber, she said, “I’m a trillion per cent sure.”
However, on cross-examination by defence lawyer Scott Hurley, she said she thought the robber’s eyes were blue. Frampton’s eyes were brown. She also second-guessed herself on several other aspects of the man’s features.
With such unreliable evidence from the main witness, chances of a conviction were slim and the Crown opted to cease the prosecution and Frampton was freed from jail.