“His DNA was the only DNA found at the residence” – The Royal Gazette


Updated: August 23, 2022 07:50

A Supreme Court jury was asked yesterday to uncover the truth in the evidence as an aggravated burglary trial drew to a close.

Shaunté Simons-Fox, for the Crown, told the court yesterday that the evidence against 20-year-old Zywonde Lema was overwhelming – while her story was too inconsistent to be reliable.

She added: “We say that we have demonstrated that the circumstantial evidence can only point to Zywonde Lema being guilty of these offences.

“He had the opportunity, he knew the neighborhood, he knew about the burglary – he discussed it with someone – he had access to a bicycle and a helmet.

“He fits the description – six foot, skinny – and his DNA was the only DNA found at the residence.

“Now the defendant, Zywonde Lema, hopes you won’t believe everything you’ve heard for yourself – show him he’s wrong.”

Mr Lema has pleaded not guilty to aggravated burglary which allegedly took place at a home in Warwick on November 13, 2020.

Court heard earlier that Holly Murphy left her home in Warwick at around 8.45am on November 13, 2020 to take her son to nursery school, only to find shortly after that her flat had been ransacked.

She told the court that more than $825 worth of clothing and accessories were stolen and the burglary caused an additional $945 in damage.

A kitchen knife had also been removed from her kitchen counter and replaced with a knife Ms Murphy said she had never seen before.

A DNA test later showed that Mr. Lema’s DNA could be found on the knife.

Ms Simons-Fox told the court the Crown believed Mr Lema had broken into the house with another, left the knife on the kitchen counter and, in a panic, took the wrong knife as he left.

She added that although he claimed to be spending the whole day with his girlfriend, his shaky recollection of the day, combined with his testimony that he knew about the planned burglary and that someone had stolen his knife for that, doubted him.

But Bruce Swan, for the defence, said there was not enough evidence to place his client at the scene.

He explained that Mr Lema had not been spotted on any CCTV footage between the allegedly burglarized house and the beach in Grape Bay where he was living at the time.

He also insisted that his client’s story did not change when questioned by police, but rather answered questions as they were asked.

Mr Swan said: ‘Everything these thieves did was very deliberate, very methodical – so why, in a methodical invasion of a residence, would someone misplace the knife?

Mr Swan urged the jury to ignore the ‘fiddles’ of emotional storytelling and focus on the evidence to reach a reasonable conclusion.

He said, “You have heard an interesting story, and while we can all play our violins and listen to that story, we have to hear the evidence and we cannot listen to those violins.

“We say we have a lot of reasonable doubts – there just isn’t enough evidence.”

The trial continues.


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