Scott-Roberts murder trial delayed

| 17/07/2009

(CNS): The trial of Kirkland Henry (27) and Larry Ricketts (25) for the murder of Estella Scott-Roberts (left) in October 2008, which was scheduled to start on 3 August, has been postponed until January 2010. Following several months of problems regarding local representation and legal aid certificates for the two accused men, it was confirmed in Grand Court today (17 July) that Lee Freeman from the law firm of Priestley’s has gone on record as Ricketts’ local counsel and Ben Tonner remains as the local representative for Henry. Both men, who are Jamaican nationals, have also now been granted legal aid for overseas QCs for the trial.

Over the last few weeks, both Justice Alex Henderson and Justice Leighton Pusey have raised their concerns in court about the problems of finding counsel to represent the two men and in turn securing legal aid certificates. Earlier this week, the court was told that Scott Wilson had expressed an interest in representing Ricketts, who has been without counsel for months, but was unable to act as his firm had stated it was no longer prepared to work on legal aid matters because of the consistent and protracted delay in receiving payment.

However, with counsel now secured for both men and legal aid granted, both Tonner and Freeman will be seeking to instruct overseas QCs as lead counsel. The trial, which is expected to last three weeks, is now set to commence on 26 January 2010.

Ricketts and Henry were arrested on 27 October, some two weeks after the shocking discovery of Scott-Robert’s body in her own burnt out car in the dykes area of Barkers in West Bay.

Both men are charged with robbery, abduction and murder, while Henry is also charged with an additional count of rape.

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Comments (6)

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  1. anonymous says:

    I pray that this case is not bungled/mishandled like other recent murder cases! Estella deserves justice….

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wish with all my heart that she was still with us in body. She will alwaysbe with us in heart and spirit.

    NO sentence given to the guilty will ever be enough to make this better.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is my personal belief that a judge will hear this case instead of it going to a jury given the intense local publicity and interest surrounding this crime.

    I hope the chain of evidence and other police procedures were correctly followed.

  4. Concerned says:

    I fear with all the terrible publicity these men cannot get a fair trial with a local jury.

  5. Expat 360 says:

    Justice delayed is justice denied!


    I completely agree, HOWEVER, given the shambolic state of the legal department and the ham fisted job that even it’s senior prosecutors are making of cases at the moment, this trial has to be absolutely water tight, so if we as a country have to wait another six months, andit means that the two accused have the best defence, then that is fine, because what it means is that any guilty verdict is WATERTIGHT, and then can’t be appealed and as such potentially overturned at a later date.

    It is indeed a pivotal case, so maybe it will pivot towards the legal department here actually doing it properly. Because justice gained by ineptitude will also be justice overturned….

  6. Anonymous says:

    Justice delayed is justice denied!

    Estella’s family and the wider Cayman community demands justice for Estella – otherwise, we can never heal.  This case is of pivotal importance to this Island –

    we are watching and waiting – no more excuses or delays. this is another 6 months before trial can even begin, so all parties concerned be on notice to get this dealt with properly, fairly and expeditiously.