In the face of video evidence of an interview with murder accused Rommel Cummins being presented in court, Sergeant Michael Ifill on Wednesday refuted suggestions that he prompted the suspect on what he should say in a recorded statement.
The police officer was back on the witness stand in the No. 3 Supreme Court for the continuation of the trial of Cummins, 30, who is accused of murdering Dave Archer on June 10, 2019.
The video footage played in court showed Cummins being interviewed by Sergeant Ifill. Also present was Police Constable Mervyn Sealy.
During her cross-examination, defence counsel Angela Mitchell-Gittens pointed out to the police witness that they were points during the interview when his voice was inaudible.
She suggested this was because he was telling her client what to say in his statement.
However, the veteran police officer of 37 years denied the allegation, saying it was the fault of the equipment.
“I was not at fault. It has to be a problem with the mechanism,” he said.
Mitchell-Gittens further suggested to Sergeant Ifill that the second statement which Cummins gave to police was prepared prior to the interview being done. He also refuted that claim.
Mitchell-Gittens also asked the police officer why Cummins was not allowed to speak to a lawyer even though in the video interview he could be heard saying, in response to whether he wanted to speak to an attorney: “I want one but I can get one at this time?”
In his response, Sergeant Ifill told the court that Cummins had been asked before the interview if he wished to talk to a lawyer and he had declined.
He also pointed out that during the interview, the accused man told him to “proceed.” The police officer said he interpreted that as Cummins saying he did not require the services of a lawyer.