Evidence Ignored by the Jury in Scott’s Trial
The jury had to ignore much evidence given at Scott’s trial in order to bring in a guilty verdict. The evidence of Donald Anderson was a case in point.
Donald Anderson was a water taxi driver at Furneaux Lodge on new years eve 1997-98. He stated that he took a man resembling Scott to his boat, alone between 2:00am and 4:00am in the morning. When questioned closely, he said that he thought it was nearer 4:00am than 2:00am and it was after he took one of the people who was working at the lodge to his boat at a time about 3:30am. When questioned very closely, he admitted that the boat that he took this lone passenger to was called Blade, and that he remembered it because he had expected it to be a large, sleek yacht because of its name and that when they arrived at it the boat was only the size of a large trailer sailer. He said that he remembered the name because it reminded him of an edged weapon (he collects knives).
Scott was Identified as being at the lodge until about 3:15am although he said in his statement to the police that he thought it was around 2.00am but he wasn't quite sure. Of course if any of the prosecution witnesses are wrong about the time they are just honestly mistaken. If Scott is wrong about anything at all he’s lying.
The skipper of the Mina Cornelia, the boat Blade was rafted to, said that Scott returned to his boat alone at some time after 2:30 am when he went to bed. He said that he felt he had been asleep for at least half an hour. He was woken by the sound of a motor, which stopped at the raft for a very short while and left. Not long enough, he said, for more than one person to alight. He recognised Scott when he came to the companionway to ask where the party was, as did one of the other people aboard. At no time did he hear any other person or conversation. Scott had returned alone to his boat.
This fact was conceded by the prosecution in their closing address to the jury, which should have been the end of it, case closed. No evidence had been called to show that Scott had returned to shore, in fact the opposite had occurred. The crown had stated that they had called every boat owner and every water taxi driver. None had been asked if they had picked up a lone man from a boat and returned him to shore. But in the final hour and a half of a two-day closing address this theory was floated. "He went back," The crown could not say how, no dinghies were found ashore in the morning, unaccounted for. No evidence had been called of sightings of swimmers coming ashore. It was not said that the mystery man was soaking wet. But as Paul Davison QC said "so what"
Now let us look at this two-trip theory closely and apart from the fact that no evidence was called to support it. Surely a victim of the justice system is entitled to know just what he is charged with doing. What the theory is that has landed him in court in the first place. Surely the prosecution opening address is where the crown states just what it is that they are setting out to prove. Certainly, the crown opening was far fetched enough. This theory had never been part of the police thinking and it had not been part of the case at all until Paul Davison raised it at the very end of his closing address.
It has been found recently that the prosecution case regarding the two trip theory was, in fact, totally opposed to the facts as they were determined by the police investigation. Davison QC stated the time of Watson's return to his boat some fifteen times during his closing address to the jury as being 2:00 am. The police investigation had concluded that Scott had returned to his boat alone "AT ABOUT 4:00AM" approximately 20 minutes before Hope Smart and the Mystery Man were delivered to the ketch.
THE FACTS DID NOT FIT THE CROWN THEORY
SO THEY CHANGED THEM.
Scott Watson, The Person
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