The four-day trial for a cab driver charged with break and enter wrapped up Thursday with the Crown and defense making final arguments to the judge.
Lulzim Jakupaj, 33, is charged with a single count of break and enter and is accused of following his female passenger inside her drop-off destination.
The Crown prosecutor, Dana Sullivan, closed her arguments by connecting witnesses statements and descriptions to Jakupaj. Both the neighbours and the man who got into a fight with an intruder in his home described the invader as a dark-skinned, dark-haired man.
Sullivan recalled Jakupaj’s conflicted statements to police and his employer. In a video-taped interview with the RNC, Jakupaj denied ever leaving his vehicle. However, when confronted by City-Wide Taxis’ owner about an anonymous complaint, Jakupaj recalled walking an intoxicated girl to her door and helping her inside.
“He’s not telling the truth to someone,” the Crown suggested. “I’d say he’s not telling the truth to either.”
Sullivan added that there was intent to commit an indictable offense, suggesting a sexual motive. Nothing was taken from the home except a laptop and camera that were in plain site.
Defense lawyer Jason Edwards argued there was no evidence to suggest without a reasonable doubt that it was Jakupaj who entered the Kilbride home last May, despite two neighbours’ testimony that the City-Wide driver left his cab and walked towards the home.
“Even if you accept that statement,” Edwards said. “There’s no proof he went into the apartment. He’s not charged for leaving his cab.”
The defense called into question the police statement from the man who allegedly fought an intruder out of his apartment, Jonathon Courish. In the original statement to the RNC, the defense said Courish’s description involved a hooded man. In all other testimonies and video evidence, Jakupaj is wearing a white shirt and black vest.
The defense recalled the neighbour’s testimony that they went to the apartment once the cab that they called suspicious had left the scene. The couple said that there were no signs of distress or even signs of life.
Edwards suggested that the break and enter hadn’t happened yet, but rather it was an unrelated intruder and after his client had driven back downtown.
Finally, Edwards called out the RNC for choosing an easy target in Jakupaj and not investigating a second suspect. He claimed Courish created the theory that Jakupaj was the man in his house and the RNC closed their case too soon.
“It’s a shame for everybody, society really,” Edwards stated. “They picked the low-laying fruit and closed their case six days into the investigation. Maybe the RNC could have done more investigating and found the real intruder.”
The judge is going to take a few months to review the evidence entered throughout the trial before handing down his decision. That will come at the end of March.
In the meantime, Jakupaj is not being held in custody despite facing two unrelated charges of sexual assault while on the job. That trial begins in November.