Magistrates can’t hear ‘dog-theft’ case

| 22/04/2010

(CNS): All three of the Cayman Islands magistrates have recused themselves from hearing the crown’s case against Sandra Catron, a local activist and former political candidate who has been charged with dog theft. Catron has pleaded not guilty to the charges and had requested a speedy trial as the dog in question, which she claims she rescued, is currently being held in a pound at the Department of Agriculture. Catron appeared in court today (Thursday 22 April) but Magistrate Grace Donald said she was conflicted and would have to recuse herself before she adjourned the case for mention next week.

Catron, who is representing herself, said as she left the courthouse that she was disappointed her case has been postponed, adding that justice delayed was justice denied.
Although no reasons have been offered, the Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsey-Hale and Magistrate Nova Hall have already recused themselves from this matter as they have stated they are conflicted, and with the third magistrate in Cayman having also now recused herself, Catron’s case will most likely be heard before an acting magistrate.
During the brief hearing before the case was adjourned Catron told the court that, despite the fact that she had received documents from the crown pertaining to her case only that morning, she was ready and willing to proceed to trial. She told the court that since the dog was being held in a cage she had specifically said from the moment of her arrest that she expected the matter to be dealt with very quickly.
The prosecuting crown counsel in the case, Trevor Ward, told the court the matter had been made ready for trial with significant haste but with the question of the tribunal there was no choice but to adjourn.
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