Robbery verdict will centre on identity from videos

Judge to render decision in 19-year-old woman’s trial next month

Rosie Mullaley
Published on June 12, 2014
Alexandra Faye Gough-Hollohan was back in provincial court in St. John’s Thursday for final arguments in her robbery trial.
— Photo by Rosie Mullaley/The Telegram

In a case that a defence lawyer says “screams of reasonable doubt,” a 19-year-old woman will find out next month whether she’ll be found guilty of attempting to commit two armed robberies.

It will hinge on whether Alexandra Faye Gough-Hollohan can be positively identified in video surveillance video from both stores.

The trial wrapped up Thursday in provincial court in St. John’s.

Judge Lori Marshall is scheduled to render the verdict July 4.


Two counts

Gough is charged with two counts each of attempted robbery and having a weapon dangerous to the public.

She was arrested in connection with two attempted armed robberies that happened on the same day, Dec. 10, 2013.

She reportedly tried to hold up Marie’s Mini Mart in Paradise, near Octagon Pond, and the Esso gas station on Torbay Road.

Gough was originally charged with a Dec. 5 armed robbery at Marie’s Mini Mart on Crosbie Road, but the Crown withdrew that charge due to lack of identification evidence.


Same perpetrator

But prosecutor Glynne Faulkner said there is enough evidence to convict Gough on the other two incidents.

In closing arguments, Faulkner argued it’s clear the robberies were committed by the same person, as there are similarities — the woman had the same features (blonde hair, slight build), was wearing the same clothes and had a knife in both places, and the incidents happened just two hours apart.

Faulkner said while the videos from the stores don’t show a clear image of the suspect’s face, witnesses testified they could identify Collins by her body movements and features, including a woman at one of the stores, a police officer, who had seen Collins a few times before the incidents, and Collins’ case worker.

But defence lawyer Kevin Baker said there are a number of issues about identity in the case.

“The sad reality is the Crown is asking the court to make several (assumptions),” Baker said.

Baker said with the high angle of the video cameras and the distance away from the incident, it is not possible to pick out distinctive facial features of the suspect.

He said the court could not rely on the witnesses’ testimony, since neither could point to unique idiosyncracies, behaviour or features about the woman in the video that could positively say it was Collins or anything that would set her apart from anyone else.

“It raises a red flag and causes concern,” said Baker, who added there was no forensic evidence.

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