“I was wrongfully convicted.”
That’s the declaration from Corey McDonald Noel, of Joe’s River Tenantry, St Joseph as he continues to maintain his innocence despite being found guilty of aggravated burglary by a jury earlier this year.
“ I don’t think I was granted a fair trial cause I don’t understand how I get convicted of something that I ain’t do,” Noel told Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius yesterday as the sentencing phase of his case continued in the No. 5 Supreme Court.
Back in February a nine-member jury found Noel guilty of burglarising the St George home of Virginia Challenor as a trespasser and stealing $157 in cash, a pair of earrings worth $100, a chain worth $150, a pendant worth $500, two rings worth $10,150 as well as two shotguns worth $12,000 and 100 rounds of ammunition belonging to George Challenor on December 8, 2011 while brandishing a sword.
However, the convicted man says he remains perplexed by the verdict.
“Although I was not involved in the crime the evidence still was not strong enough . . . . So I believe I was wrongfully convicted,” he stated moments before Challenor addressed the court.
She explained that the almost eight-year-old incident occurred very suddenly and she believed she was “more worried”about other things than herself at the time.
“Yes I went to the FMH to have stitches in the back of my head. I didn’t have any depression after treatment . . . I do not have residual effects. I can only feel a dent to the back of my head,” she said.
Challenor also told the judge that she had moved on.
“I don’t think about things like that, what has happened, has happened in the past and I am thankful to be alive, happy to be alive and just getting on with my work,” she added.
A probation officer then read a report on Noel saying among other things that he was assessed as being at a medium to high risk of re-offending.
“He was reportedly involved in an accident at the age of 9 which affected his cognitive and developmental functioning. [This] has been attributed to [Noel’s] display of maladaptive behaviours during his adolescence and adulthood,” the probation officer read.
Following that revelation Justice Cornelius ordered a psychological report on Noel in preparation for sentencing.
He returns to court on June 14 in the matter in which Senior Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney and Crown Counsel Neville Watson are the prosecutors.