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Jury hears of footprint on a Club Med balcony

The absence of the temporary verbatim court reporter in a Supreme Court trial yesterday was quite noticeable as prosecution witnesses testified slowly to allow Puisne Judge the Hon. Mr. Justice (Austin) Ward to write everything in longhand.

A total of eight witnesses, including a finger print expert from Canada, took the stand throughout the day in the trial of a 26 year-old St. George's man accused of rape.

The man is charged with two counts of rape said to have occurred at Club Med hotel in July, 1987, and July, 1988. Although separate incidents, both victims said they woke to find a black man lying beside them in bed in their rooms.

The accused denies both charges as well as a third count of burglary on July 21, 1987, when he is alleged to have stolen a digital Casio watch from another room.

D.c. Stuart Crockwell, who investigated the case, said shortly after the incidents were reported he photographed a footprint he discovered on a third-floor balcony of the Club Med hotel, and subsequently lifted an impression of it.

But, under cross examination from defending lawyer Mr. Richard Hector, D.c. Crockwell conceded that he did not know when the footprint had been made on the balcony.

Det. Sgt. Keith Cassidy, who is an expert in analysis and identification of prints, said after finding ten identical characteristics, he sent the photographed footprint and ink footprints of the accused to Canada for further confirmation.

And Mr. Brian Dalrymple, who is an expert in analysis, comparison and identification 6f fingerprints, told the court how he found 23 similar characteristics between the photographed footprint and ink footprints of the accused.

"In my opinion, the two footprints are identical," Mr. Dalrymple said. And he explained that after carrying out numerous experiments he has never found two people with the same finger or foot prints.

Another witness from Canada, Mr. Steven Reisler, recalled how he was the victim of a robbery three years ago at Club Med.

Reisler said he woke up in his third-floor room on July 21, 1987, to find his black Casio watch worth US $75 and a $20 bill missing from a table near the room's sliding door.

He said he had closed the door the night before but did not lock it.

Reisler described his watch remembering the alarm was set at 8:50 am and that he had close to 50 phone numbers programmed in it.

And yesterday when presented with a black Casio watch, that the accused is said to have stolen, Reisler noticed that the alarm was set at 8:50 a.m And he recognized the phone numbers, including the number and name of a friend who visited Bermuda with him three years ago.

John Trott, a friend of the accused, testified that he received the watch from the accused last July.

He said he could not remember if the accused told him where the watch came from.

But after looking at a statement he made to Police in August, 1987, Trott said the accused told him that he received the watch from a guy who owed him.

Crown Counsel Mr. Stephen Harrison is expected to call two more wit- witnesses this morning, including an expert on DNA samples, before the defense opens its case.

The trial resumes before Puisne Judge the Hon. Mr. Justice (Austin) Ward.

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