Case dismissed

Rosie Mullaley
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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.

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Organizations: Mini Mart

Geographic location: Blackmarsh Road, Mundy Pond Road

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Recent comments

  • Marshall Art
    March 26, 2014 - 18:57

    The accused's hankerchief slipped down to his chin, exposing his face, and the store clerk recognized him from the neighbourhood. She recognized him, but in a court of law, that's not enough. What colour were his eyebrows? Were his teeth even or crooked ? Did he have full lips or chicken lips ? Did he have high cheekbones or no cheekbones ? Justice has been served. lol . Next case. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

  • Don II
    March 26, 2014 - 16:12

    The accused person in this case is now considered to be innocent and criminal charges against him have been dropped. However, in cases where eye color are an issue of identity, a thorough investigation would have required the police to obtain medical records and family and personal color photographs of the accused including his drivers license and other photo ID to determine if any of those medical records or photographs show that the accused had blue eyes as a result of wearing colored lenses or had been described as having had blue eyes. The accused could then be asked to explain how, when and why his natural brown eyes were blue at times in the past!

  • Jerry
    March 26, 2014 - 11:37

    I could pick my girlfriend of three years out of a concert in a blinding snowstorm wearing a snowsuit zipped to her forehead but, for the life of me I cannot recall the color of her eyes! This case absolutely astounds me!

    • stephanie
      March 26, 2014 - 12:09

      I've been with my husband for 28 years and I don't know my eye colour let alone his !!!

    • Me
      March 26, 2014 - 14:03

      Married over 20 years and my wife's eyes are blue .... I think. Wait now, I'll have to go check and be sure. Other than that, pretty sure I can recognize her anywhere.

  • Dude got lucky
    March 26, 2014 - 09:50

    Sounds like the dude got lucky. Something like 1/3rd of spouses can't recall their mates eye color correctly. I'm sure the defense is well aware of this fact. Once you make someone slip up in court due to a common error its easy to destroy their credibility and have them second guess themselves. Chances are she was correct at identifying the man as she recognized him from the area. This guy just happened to have a good defense behind him as well as a bit of luck. It won't last for long. Chances are we haven't seen the last of this dude in court.

  • picky
    March 26, 2014 - 09:20

    This is an early April fools joke, right ???

  • picky
    March 26, 2014 - 09:20

    This is an early April fools joke, right ???

  • Nicole
    March 26, 2014 - 07:08

    I am sure the police and court has better things to do than track someone's spending to see if they bought colour contacts...Maybe the store should buy cameras.

  • sc
    March 26, 2014 - 06:55

    Guess the legal system here hasn't heard of coloured contacts.