A robbery charge against AFL player Trent Dumont and co-accused has been dropped. Judge Paul Muscat said that the case should have been abandoned years ago.
Taxi driver Malusi Hamilton Ketse claimed that the 21-year-old Trent Dumont and his former co-accused, Joshua David Lomas pinned him to the ground and stole $70 from him. The alleged incident took place after the taxi driver brought the two to Banksia Park in Adelaide’s north-east on October 12, 2014.
But Prosecutor Edward Stretton-Smith said that he has been told to stop pursuing the case any longer. This decision comes after it has been found that the driver’s testimony was inconsistent with what was seen on the CCTV footage that was taken from inside the vehicle, according to Adelaide Now.
As seen on the footage, which did not contain sound, the taxi driver was speaking with the accused and was even smiling. On the other hand Ketse argued that the passengers’ behavior was unruly since they were allegedly touching him and unlocking the seatbelt.
But when Ketse was cross-examined, he did not answer some questions from the defense. The proceedings were then ended.“I’m hardly surprised — what’s surprising is that it got this far. I’m not criticizing you at all, Mr Stretton-Smith, it’s those who are charged with the responsibility of ensuring there’s a reasonable prospect of conviction,” says Judge Muscat.
“It should not have got to the stage where the prosecution forms a view after its principle witness has completed giving his evidence — particularly where his evidence was contradicted, in substantial ways, by the CCTV.” On Wednesday, Dumont and David Lomas shook hands and embraced the prosecutors as the case against them has been dropped. The Judge adds that the decision came two years late.
Lomas stated he was very happy with the court’s decision. Cameron Joyce, North Melbourne’s general manager of football operations, also expressed his approval of dropping Dumont’s charge. “Trent and the football club are obviously very happy with the outcome of today,” the general manager said. “It gives Trent the opportunity to put everything behind him and focus on his football and the great opportunity he has with the North Melbourne Football Club this year.”