UK court rejects appeal over murder re-trial

| 28/11/2010

(CNS): The Privy Council has not allowed the appeal of Josue Carillo-Perez, who will now face a second trial for the murder of Canadian National, Martin Gareau, in May 2008. The UK’s highest court refused the appeal taken by Perez, who was found not guilty of murder in a judge alone trial in July 2009, a verdict which was then quashed by the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal. Perez, who had been a free man for only four months, having been in jail on remand awaiting trial, before he was rearrested in the wake of the CICA decision. A new trial date was set for September of 2010, which was then postponed when the case went to the UK’s Privy Council

The not guilty verdict of Justice Roy Anderson was overturned as a result of a self misdirection in the judge’s ruling, which stated that the burden of proof was enhanced for a murder charge. The crown had argued that the burden of proof is never enhanced because of the nature of the crime.

Perez, a Honduran national living in the Cayman Islands, was originally arrested for the crime only a few weeks after Gareau’s badly beaten body was found at his Beach Bay home in Bodden Town. Perez denied the murder and took the witness stand in his own defence and said he considered the victim a friend.

The crown’s case was based on two latent fingerprints found at Gareau’s home which matched the defendant, who said he had been to Gareau’s home only a few weeks before for a barbeque.

The judge said in his ruling that it while it was plausible that Perez could have committed the crime, plausibility was not enough. “Plausibility, however, is not an adequate basis for a criminal conviction and certainly the standard is enhanced when the charge is one of murder.” The judge went on to say that he did not believe the crown had not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. Justice Anderson explained that although the defendant had elected for a judge alone trial, it was still the role of the judge to be both judge and jury and make the decision on the evidence.

In his verdict Justice Anderson said the crown’s case was based on circumstantial evidence, and while it had demonstrated with the fingerprint evidence that Perez was likely to have been at the scene, there was evidence to suggest that if Perez had played any part he was not alone. The crown had, however, presented a case where it said the defendant was the sole perpetrator of murder. The judge said that while he believed it was possible that Perez was involved, he could not say that he was sure he was the one that had committed the act of murder and therefore returned a verdict of not guilty.

Perez currently remains on remand at Northward and is now listed to appear in court in December when a trial date will be fixed for 2011.

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Comments (7)

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  1. anonymous says:

    It is time he Immigration considers looking into criminals from other countries.  Instead of only watching nappy heads bongo natty dread, they need to look into straight hair, red mouth, wasp waist good looking hombreys and heffas..

  2. Anonymous says:

    wow double jeopardy?

     

     

    • Legal Beagle says:

      "Double jeopardy" is a legal concept whose time has passed, like the "year and a day rule".

      • Anonymous says:

         You can’t be much of a legal beagle if you let a comment pass that suggests that this is double jeopardy.  DJ prevents you from being put in jeopardy of punishment from the criminal justice system more than once for the same offence, but the "jeopardy" from the first round does not end until the appeal process is complete, and that includes any re-trials ordered, so he’s still in his first round.

        Think of it this way: if an appeal court could not order a new trial, the appeal courts themselves would be useless because if the first trial got it wrong, the appeal court could not reverse it and send it back to be done right.  That would mean that if the first court got it wrong: we’re either stuck with the error, or it gets reversed without a new trial ordered and we’re stuck with never getting a proper trial of the issue (and the appellant wins even though they may be entirely guilty).

        Is that the sort of justice you want?

        And no, it’s got nothing to do with double jeopardy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually Legal the year and a day rule still exists in the Cayman penal code!!

        • Anonymous says:

          It was abolished in the UK, but some people forget that the UK legal system and the Cayman legal system are not identical…

          Martin Polaine…

          Cayman AG…

          S#it###s at SPIT…

    • Pauly Cicero says:

      Not exactly. The original verdict was overturned, i.e. – it never happened.