SPIT faces more legal action

| 09/03/2009

(CNS): A letter from Burman Scott’s solicitors has been sent to members of the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) with regards to the former police inspector’s intended claim against them for his alleged unlawful arrest last year. CNS understands that SIO Martin Bridger and Richard Coy have received legal letters citing them both liable for Scott’s arrest and detention overnight in the cells of George Town Police station and have ten days to respond.  The current Police Commissioner James Smith has also been named in the claim as vicariously liable.

Despite not being in post at the time of Scott’s alleged unlawful arrest, Smith has taken full responsibility for SPIT.

Campbells has confirmed that it is representing Scott. However, senior partner Shaun McCann was unavailable for comment regarding the details of the claim. McCann has recently concluded the judicial review over the unlawful arrest of Justice Alex Henderson, which resulted in the judge receiving CI$1.3 million in damages. Given that Scott was not only arrested in front of his colleagues at his workplace but held in the George Town jail overnight without bail and that the case against him was not dismissed until than three months later, some legal experts have suggested his suit will be equally as solid as that made by Henderson.  

Scott was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, the same offence for which Henderson was found to have been unlawfully arrested — an offence that Henderson’s legal team demonstrated was not an arrestable offence in the Cayman Islands. 

If the officers of SPIT admit their responsibility for the alleged unlawful arrest and detention then the damages claim will be negotiated directly by Campbells on behalf of Scott. However, should the officers choose to stand by the arrest and deny their liability then there is likely to be another expensive courtroom showdown, all of which will be paid for from the Cayman purse. If SPIT is again unsuccessful in defending its actions then the Treasury will be forced to find the money for legal costs as well as the higher damages that could result in the wake of a failed court case.

Scott, a Caymanian originally from Cayman Brac, served in the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service for almost thirty years with an unblemished record, rising to the level of inspector. He was arrested at his workplace on 15 May 2008 in front of his colleagues and friends. “It was a nightmare,” Scott told CNS when asked about his experiences recently. “I could never have imagined in all my life that this was happening to me. After all my years working so hard and having retired with a good name, it was a shock that is hard to explain.”

Scott was held without bail for two days, spending a night in the cells at the station where he served as a respected inspector. He explained that one of the worst humiliations for him was being taken into that station as a suspect in front of officers that he had worked with, including young men in the service whom he had trained. “I felt so embarrassed,” he added. 

Scott was not named at the time of his arrest by SPIT as he was not charged with any offences, but following his two-day ordeal he was identified in the local press following the publication of his name in Cayman Net News, which is published by Desmond Seales.

Although SPIT has never disclosed the full details regarding why they arrested Scott rather than requesting an interview with him, during his arrest the officers questioned him regarding accusations they were pursuing against suspended Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon, who was also arrested for the same offence.

Dixon has since been charged with two counts of misconduct in a public office and two counts of doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice, and is due to appear in court later this year. Both charges relate to Dixon on two separate occasions requesting officers to release individuals who had been arrested.  On 7 April 2004 Dixon allegedly directed Scott, who was at the time an inspector at George Town Police Station, to release a man who was being held on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

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Comments (15)

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  1. Craig Mock says:

    Good for you Burman!

    I hope you are successful in your suit against the outsiders that turned your world upside down.  You, Stuart, and the others did not deserve any of the outlandish treatment you received.  Thanks for your many years of service to the RCIP when it was a good and reputable agency I once had the honor of being a member of. Above all, thanks for the training and leadership you gave me.

  2. Only a Caymanian says:

    In this case I would suggest that people get together and demand the Removal of the Attorney General, Mr. Bulgin, the entire SPIT Team and HE Stuart Jack as these were all the areas of the Government that caused these False Arrest.

     I cannot aggree more with the previous writer in….   Pause! Hon. Sam Bulgin

    These of course was where it was all certified and passed as lawful arrest and then switched around to be UnLawful arrest. Obviously  the Attorney General, Mr. Bulgin does not Know or understand his Job. Get Him and All the Comrades OUT.

     

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    Please, please, please come and arrest me RCIP. The bailout packages you are offering would be of great assistance in these tough economic times.

  4. Bracker says:

    BLESS YOU TWYLA for your honest and kind words towards Mr. Scott. You may not know me personally but I know Mr. Scott very well and I commend you for putting your real name to everything that you write. Can’t say that for others.

    To | Saharaka – Surely you don’t know the man and yes he is different in the eyes of many. For you to look at it as sh*t happens obviously shows that you are the uncaring person and not Mr. Scott as you have stated would feel if it happened to someone else.

    With regards to your comments on Henderson being compensated just because he’s a judge, do I take it that you are saying if Mr. Scott held a higher position in society or managed to excel to the level of "judge" his actions at this time would be acceptable even though you’re whining about duties etc? I know Henderson didn’t think about you, me and Mr. Scott when he collected his cheque.  Bear that in mind.

    Again, I say that I have been acquainted with Mr. Scott for many years and I can assure you that he is not out for a cash sorry and he definitely is NOT A MONEY GRABBER!! This man is an excellent retired police officer with homes here and in the Brac and continues to hold afull time job. He comes from a decent family that surely does not need money from the Cayman Islands Government so this is NOT A MONEY ISSUE!! I trust that you or any one of your family members will never have to go thru what this man has experienced but no matter what the outcome may be in this case, one thing that we all can be sure of, the Lord is looking down from above and time is on Burmon Scott’s side.

     

  5. | Saharaka | says:

    No Burman no! That’s the justice we have. Sometimes sh!t happens. Live with it. Other people that have been unlawfully arrested did the same. To most people you are not any different. Only we, your fellow Caymanians will feel this monetary lost if that’s what you are seeking. I know that Campbells certainly is! Henderson is a judge and that’s why he got what he got. Not right either. Judges in my opinion think they are above the law or are entitled to more respect than the average citizen. I for one treat them just as I would want to be treated, no more, no less. Does Burman Scott deserve an apology? Sure he does. Hopefully he’ll take that. But then again you can’t cash sorry. Time for me to stop paying proper import duties and the like. I can’t support money grabbers any more. If this was someone else, Burman would not give a damn. Being a former officer he knows this happens and life continues on and no one truly cares. I don’t except monies from me/Cayman Islands paying for an embrassed man who happens to think because he served for 30 yrs in the force respect is automatic. I don’t think so. Sorry.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You’re missing Dennie’s point; whether it’s the London Met Police or the RCIPS, the Caymanian government (i.e.: you and I!) end up signing the cheque when the rule of law is not followed. Both the RCIPS and London Met team (if you insist of differentiating between the two) have been guilty of this it appears.

  7. Anonymous says:

     Pause! Hon. Samuel Bulgin, Attorney General, your turn to speak, we now need to hear from you!

    Hon. Samuel Bulgin the Attorney General , Cabinet Member, heads the C I Government Legal Dept., Legal Advisor the C. I. Government.  It has been reported that Mr. Bulgin set up all of the legal advisors for the SPIT team.

    Mr. Bulgin would therefore have reviewed the evidence to result in the three arrests, Mr. Bulgin is therefore responsible to know if the arrests were illegal or illegal accorging to C. I. law.

    Did Bridger only make the arrests after Mr. Bulgin said the proposed arrests were legal and approved by Mr. Bulgin / Legal Dept?

    Mr.Bulgin is the advisor to all of the C I Government on Cayman Islands laws. It is Mr. Bulgin’s ultimate responsibility and obligation to the Cayman Islands people and Government to advise what is lawful and what is unlawful according to Cayman Islands laws.  That is my understanding of the system of legal matters and law enforcement in the Cayman Islands.

    Mr. Bulgin seems to be a learned and reasonable man; did he not see activities which caused him to believe that the offences reported to the C. I. Legal Department by SPIT were arrestable offences under Cayman Islands laws, then did he not give the green light to proceed with each of the three arrests?

    What caused Mr. Bulgin to change his mind to accept like a mouse the Judge’s ruling that these offences are not arrestable offences in the Cayman Islands?

    Why was there no appeal by the C. I. Government?

    Mr. Bulgin is the Captain of the “Legal Ship Cayman”, he is responsible for the activities of all of the crew, and he is answerable to the owners of the “Legal Ship Cayman”, us the people.

    Mr. Bulgin it is now time to hear from you Sir.

    We wait………(impatiently)

  8. Anonymous says:

    You go Burmon, best of luck.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Come on Dennie, let’s not get confused here.  It’s not the RCIP, but rather the METROPOLITAN Police from London, UK, otherwise known as the MET.

  10. Dennie Waren Jr. says:

    We must insist the RCIPS respect the Laws themselves; ifnot, more or our increasingly scarce tax $$$ will have to be unnecessarily spent on their unlawfulness.  Sigh!

  11. Anonymous says:

    While I fully agree 100% that Burmon Scott should be compensated for the ¨humiliation, pain and suffering¨ that was caused to him by this bogus investigation, I would like to see his monetary compensation for damages being payed for, directly or in part by the UK. Metroplolitan Police Force and from the pockets of Stuart Jack and Martin Polaine as well.

    Everyone knows that Burmon Scott was victimized by SPIT, so therefore let it not only be the Cayman Islands Government and it´s tax payers, that pay for all the wrong doing that has occurred. 

    Also, let´s not forget the ¨RCIPS Official¨ whom got this investigation started, against Burmond Scott  !!!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    At least a Caymanian now stands a chance for some justice money, which means the money stays in Cayman and he wont need to talk to the Candian media!

  13. Anonymous says:

    C’Mon Twyla,

      You of all people should know that the Courts  are NEVER going to give due justice to a Caymanian….after all, How many Caymanians do you see serving on the bench???  Unfortunately, Burmon  MAY get a % of what was GIVEN to Justice Henderson, but he will never get fully recompensated for the slander that he will havesuffered….So sad to say, but it’s the truth…just wait and see…..

    • Twyla M Vargas says:

      I AGREE WITH YOUR COMMENTS. BUT LET US WAIT AND SEE.

      Yes I must agree with your comments,……………..But it is for me and you to stay on this case to see that Burmon Scott is fully compensated for the embarrasment that this has caused him and his family.    What we Caymanians who have the guts to speak up must do, is not to just talk for talk sake, we must stay with the flow, follow up on request, and we must not hide behind our names if it is not  absolutely necessary.

      Let me now fully express who is Burmon Scott.   He is among the best Caymanian men you can find.  He is loyal, kind, passionate about his family and friends, devoted, patient, honest, always with a smile and a kind word, and the list could go on.  I stand firm for Burmon and  and asking all those who know Burmon Scott as I know him, should stand firm for him also, and verbally express their concerns that he is fully compensated for the damage that has been done to his character.  

      Caymanians, listen up, all we have is each other you know.  We have to start behaving like family.   And mind you I am not against foreign people among us, but the fact is that they have their culture, and we have ours.   Dont try to change them, we need to regain and continue the mentality of being kind, and looking out for our own.    You have a mango tree thats loaded.  If you dont need to sell them, then dont, share them with friends and family.        You have a business  and a Caymanian is looking  for a job, give him a chance .

        Burmon Scott is a true Caymanian of the Soil, and you think he was only a good police officer, then you need to hear him sing for you.  Bless you Burmon, and I hope every thing works out fine for you an your family.

  14. Twyla M Vargas says:

    PAY UP

    What,s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    So I would say,’GOVERNMENT, PAY UP"