Archive for July 5th, 2011

Police to meet with public over gun amnesty

| 05/07/2011 | 13 Comments

(CNS): The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service will be talking directly with the public about gun crime over the next two weeks with a series of open community meetings. The public have been invited to take up the opportunity to hand in unwanted, unlicensed or illegal weapons over the next four weeks without fear of prosecution. The meetings are taking place against a backdrop of more than fifty robberies since the beginning of the year in the Cayman Islands, many involving firearms and the police hope to impress upon the community the need to bring in the guns and get as many firearms off the streets as possible. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

The latest and most shocking incident was the senseless shooting of 28 year old Kemar Golding who was shot in the face as he helped his friend take out garbage at the Red Bay jerk stand which was closing for the evening last Wednesday night. Golding has miraculously survived the shooting during the failed armed robbery but the assistant brewer who worked for Caybrew has lost his left eye.

This shooting was one of an escalating number where the armed suspects are firing weapons and Golding is one the first robbery victim to be shot in a botched robbery this year. Fears have been mounting in the community with each report that robbers have been firing their weapons that someone would eventually but hurt or killed.

The meetings where the public can discuss the amnesty as wellas issues relating to gun crime with the police start (tonight) Tuesday evening at the Mary Miller Hall in George Town at 7:30pm. The cop’s gun amnesty road show then moves to West Bay on Wednesday night 6 July 7:30-8:30pm at the Sir John A Cumber PS hall before heading to Bodden Town on Thursday 7 July at the same time at the Webster Memorial Hall.

Next week the police will be in East End on Monday 11 July at 7:30pm at the East End Civic Centre and then they will be in North Side at the Cradock Ebanks Civic Centre on the evening of Tuesday 12 July. On Wednesday 13 July the officers head to Cayman Brac to the Layman Scott High School Hall and then on Thursday 14 July to Little Cayman where the meeting will also be at 7:30 at the Hurricane Shelter.

 

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Cops accused of bungling case

| 05/07/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): During his closing speech in the retrial of Josue Carillo-Perez for the murder of Marty Gareau in May 2008, lead counsel Anthony Donne QC told the judge his client had been prejudiced by the poor standard of the murder investigation. Speaking on Tuesday at the end of a long trial in the Grand Court, he said that the police had “closed their minds” once they believed that the finger prints found on the garage door matched those of his client and all other “reasonable lines of investigation” were stopped, including other suspects. As he summed up for the judge, Donne added that the failure of the police to properly investigate meant that evidence which might have cleared his client of suspicion remained “overlooked and undiscovered”.

He pointed to a list of avenues not explored by the officers investigating the murder and said the crown’s case hung solely on two smudged prints, which were left by his client when he was a guest at Gareau’s home some two weeks before the killing.

“The investigation was not in the least well carried out, to put it kindly,” the lawyer told the judge as he listed a number of lines of enquiry that were only partially pursued or even completely ignored by the police. He said their failure to follow up on a number of areas that might have eliminated the defendant from the investigation had prejudiced his client and placed him in the position he was in, as the man charged with the murder. 

As he summed up the defence case in a trial that has now stretched into its seventh week, Dunne listed a catalogue of failures by the investigators. He said that the police had not taken prints or DNA from a cup seen in the garage that was likely used to pour the detergent that was found on Gareau, that they had not followed up on the statement given by the boyfriend of the woman Gareau was known to be pursuing and they had never investigated the victim’s second phone.

The lawyer also said the police had failed to investigate the size 13 bloody footprint found at the scene that could not have belonged to either the defendant or the victim, nor had they ever sent hair found at the seen for DNA testing.  The QC said there were many basic matters that should have been investigated that were simply ignored or not followed through.

Dunne also pointed to the expert defence testimony that had narrowed down the time of death to when his client had a concrete alibi. He said the crown’s accusations that the defendant’s stay at a hotel during the weekend of the murder was a last minute attempt at concocting an alibi was wrong as added there was uncontested evidence that it was arranged the week before. The QC pointed to questions surrounding the crown’s fingerprint evidence, which is what the entire case was based upon, and went as far as to say that the fingerprint expert was not just a poor witness but one that had tried to "pull the wool over the court’s eyes” with his “dishonest comments” in order to avoid admitting he was wrong.

Dunne told that judge that his client had co-operated from the start of the investigation by volunteering his prints and DNA and noted that he had never attempted to flee the jurisdiction. Even when he was acquitted after his first trial, despite knowing the prosecution had appealed the decision, he never tried to leave the jurisdiction.

Perez first stood trial for the murder of Canadian national Marty Gareau in July 2009. Gareau’s bloody and beaten body was found in the garage of his Beach Bay home after the holiday weekend in May 2008. Perez was arrested based on two smudged prints, which the crown say were found on the garage door that were made in the victim’s blood.
The Honduran national has, however, persistently claimed his innocence as he had been at Gareau’s home only a few weeks before the killing and was in the garage helping the victim with the barbeque.

He was found not guilty in his first trial by judge alone but the acquittal was overturned by the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal in March 2010. The appellant judges ordered a retrial as they said the trial judge had erred when he suggested in his ruling that in a case of murder the burden of proof was higher.  Perez, who had attended the appeal, was re-arrested immediately and returned to Northward following five months of freedom. He has remained in jail since and now awaits the verdict of Justice Smith, who indicated that he would hand down his ruling in two weeks.
 

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Kids and parents not talking, reveals drug survey

| 05/07/2011 | 13 Comments

(CNS): Over half the young people that took part in the recent National Drug Council student survey say that they cannot talk to their mothers about their thoughts and feelings and over one third said the same thing about their fathers. The drug use survey also revealed that over 30 percent of students have at least one family member who has a severe alcohol or drug problem. The NDC hope to address this communication gap with workshops to assist parents in dealing with teens at risk of becoming drug and alcohol users. “Communication is paramount,” said Simon Miller the facilitator of the NDC’s specially designed Parents as Preventers programme.

“Research tells us that two out of every three young people who start drinking before the age of 15 will try an illicit drug. Parents must be aware of behaviours that signal warnings and most importantly be equipped to address them. Too often parents fall in the trap of attributing certain behaviours to adolescence thus avoiding communication,” he explained.

The workshop was developed by the National Drug Council and is partof a series of free workshops designed for parents and caregivers. The workshops cover topics such as local drug trends, basic knowledge on detecting substance use, good communication, being a positive role model, and teaching children to choose friends wisely.

The goal is to equip parents and guardians with the knowledge to spot possible signs of drug use which includes a drop in grades, secretive behaviour regarding actions or possessions, new friends, and a change in activities. It provides strategies for families already facing the problem of alcohol and drug use with their children and encourages them to seek professional help.

The workshops are one element forming part of the NDC’s National Anti-Drug Strategy to strengthen and assist families and communities affected by drug abuse. The strategy is the blueprint for the Cayman Islands’ response to the misuse and abuse of both illicit and legal drugs, including alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs.

“With the implementation of the National Anti-Drug Strategy 2009-2013, the Government aims to significantly reduce the prevalence of drug use amongst the Cayman Islands population, thereby minimising social harm and damage to the well-being of our society”, stated Joan West-Dacres Executive Director of the NDC.

The Parent as Preventers workshop is free for parents, through the NDC. Parents who complete 4-week sessions receive a certificate, professional contacts, and a resource package. Anyone interested in more information about the Parents as Preventers workshop can contact the NDC at 949-9000 or by email at info@ndc.ky or visit www.ndc.ky for additional resources.
 

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