Killers present grounds of appeal

| 23/11/2010

(CNS): The two men accused of killing Estella Scott-Roberts, between them put nine grounds of appeal before the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal on Monday that they say make their convictions unsafe. Both men are appealing the murder convictions handed down to them by the Chief Justice, Anthony Smellie in February of this year. Kirkland Henry claims in his appeal case that the trial judge misdirected himself twice and erred in judgment four times in the ruling against him. Larry Ricketts, meanwhile, has suggested the judge got it wrong in his case on three different aspects. The two men were both represented by lead defence attorneys from the UK as the appeal opened on Monday morning. (Photo courtesy Cayman 27)

Ian Bourne QC, took the stand first to make the appeal for his client Henry who had pleaded guilty to rape, robbery and abduction but claimed that the murderer was his accomplice Ricketts and he had never contemplated or took part in the killing of Scott-Roberts.

In a full day of argument Bourne suggested that in his verdict against his client the chief justice had made several errors. He said the judge had failed to direct himself in the correct way when it came to the lies Henry had first told to the police about why he had Scott-Roberts’ phone before he admitted he was involved in the crime. Bourne suggested thatthe judge had concluded that because he lied about that Henry had also therefore lied about his claim that he had not been involved in the actual murder.

The defence attorney also said that the chief justice had not considered Henry’s previous good character before the night in question and there was no mention in his ruling that he gave any consideration to the fact that as someone who had not committed a crime before he could be capable of telling the truth.

Bourne went on to argue that judge had erred in his conclusions that Henry was guilty of murder because it was a joint criminal enterprise from which he did not withdraw. The UK defence counsel made the case that there was no evidence in the trial that Henry had entered into a joint enterprise where the intention was ever murder and that there was no evidence that his client was not being truthful when he said in his statement that he had withdrawn from the crime when Ricketts went to commit the act of murder.

As he had argued during the murder trial earlier this year Bourne once again said that his client had not contemplated the act of murder, had not committed it and had withdrawn from the crime when his accomplice killed their victim.

Bourne also argued that the judge was incorrect in his ruling when he concluded that Henry’s statement to the police was self serving. Bourne claimed that the account Henry gave of the crime was truthful, giving police information that they could not have known and was far from self serving but extremely incriminating when it came tot he rest of the crime.

Following the conclusion of Henry’s appeal against the murder conviction Robert Fortune QC will argue the case for his client Ricketts tomorrow morning (Tuesday 22 November). Fortune, whose client denied being at the scene is expected to argue that again the chief justice has not considered the possibility that his client could have been telling the truth on the basis that he had no previous convictions. He will also raise the issue that the judge has not given due consideration to Rickets claim that the interview given to police was not a voluntary statement made by the defendant but one that the police concocted. Fortune is expected to argue on his third ground that the judge also failed to consider cell phone evidence that suggests Ricketts could not have been where the crown claim he was.
Following the submissions by the two defence QCs, the solicitor general, Cheryl Richards QC will offer her submissions in defence of the conviction before the three appeal court judges will had down their verdict on the safety or otherwise of the convictions.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

Comments are closed.