Matthew Hazel, who was found guilty of attempting to kill an off-duty police officer during a botched robbery in Road Town, was sentenced by Justice Nicola Byer on Monday to serve nine years for attempted murder, six years for unlawful possession of a firearm, and four years for attempted robbery, confirmed defence attorney Valerie Stephens-Gordon.

The sentences will run concurrently, added the attorney.

Ms. Byer did not sentence Mr. Hazel to prison time for the unlawful possession of explosives, according to Ms. Stephens-Gordon.

A nine-member jury unanimously convicted Mr. Hazel of the four charges on March 31.

Allegations

Mr. Hazel allegedly attempted to rob Sergeant Durville Carty at gunpoint while he was depositing cash from One Mart’s daily earnings at the FirstCaribbean International Bank just after midnight on Feb. 16, 2015.

Mr. Carty, who had his own firearm, testified during the trial that he and the masked assailant exchanged multiple shots, and he said he believes he shot the attacker before he escaped. Mr. Hazel sought treatment at Peebles Hospital for a gunshot wound moments after the incident, but the defence argued that he was an innocent bystander who was heading to the ATM when he was accidently shot in the crossfire.

The jury was shown CCTV footage of the incident and of Mr. Hazel entering the waiting room at Peebles Hospital and collapsing into a chair.

Ms. Byer, who summarised the case for jurors on March 31, explained that the Crown had claimed that jurors could logically conclude that the defendant was guilty because the DNA found on a mask recovered from the crime scene matched DNA samples obtained from him.

The defence, however, argued that it was possible that Mr. Hazel’s DNA ended up on the mask through secondary transfer, which occurs when DNA is transferred onto an item by an intermediary, the judge recalled.


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