Archive for August 16th, 2011

Historic home for sale on Cayman Brac

| 16/08/2011 | 17 Comments

(CNS): One of Cayman’s few remaining traditional houses is up for sale. The Spellman McLaughlin Home on Cayman Brac played a part in Cayman Islands history when it sheltered 133 people in the 1932 Hurricane and served as a medical and distribution centre for scarce emergency supplies after the storm had passed. Located in the Creek district, the home and its adjoining lot, which contains a private graveyard, is priced at US$375,000. With many such homes either being torn down to make way for modern developments or being left to decay, the house is amongst the few of its kind that has been maintained and is in good condition.

Construction on the home began in 1926, with Captain Spellman McLaughlin overseeing every aspect of the construction process, according to the National Trust. Largely built of imported wood from Mobile, Alabama, the home was completed in 1930 and Captain McLaughlin and his wife raised their four children there. When he passed away in 1991, he willed it to his youngest child, Brunzil McLaughlin-Rivers, who renovated the home and lived there with her husband and son until they left the island in recent months and put the home up for sale.

The home covers 1,628 square feet and has eight exterior rooms built around a central dining room. It has a complete wrap-around verandah, and while modernised to accommodatetelevision, internet and telephone service, as well as kitchen and bathroom facilities, the home has changed little since 1930.

Recognising the privately-owned home’s architecture and history, in 1995 the National Trust for the Cayman Islands gave its current owner, Brunzil McLaughlin-Rivers, the Award of Distinction for the Preservation of Historic Places. However, according to the Trust’s Historic Programmes Manager Denise Bodden, they only have jurisdiction over homes which are donated to them and cannot financially afford to keep every historic home in the Cayman Islands under their care. Therefore, they encourage homeowners who live in historic homes to care for them.

“I would suggest that those who have traditional Caymanian homes on Cayman Brac should try to protect them before development really hits the island,” said Bodden. She said that the Trust has recognised a number of homes on the island that should be protected under the law, particularly the Spellman McLaughlin Home, the Carter House and the Eldemire House, for their unique architectural elements, the fact that they are among the oldest structures on the island and because they survived both the devastating hurricane of 1932 andHurricane Paloma in 2008.

Bodden also had a message for the new owners of the Spellman McLaughlin Home: “I hope they realise that they will own a valuable piece of history and that it was built with a lot of love, care and skills,” she said.

The home is listed with McLaughlin Properties on Little Cayman.

16-year-old Joshua Dilbert is a CNS summer intern.

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Father says Anglin shot child

| 16/08/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The father of four-year-old Jeremiah Barnes said that he was in no doubt that Devon Anglin (left) was the gunman who shot and killed his son in West Bay last year. The first witness to give evidence in the crown’s case against Anglin, 31-year-old Andy Barnes told the court Monday that he had known the defendant all of his life and he recognised him clearly on the night he opened fire on the Barnes family, who were inside a white car parked at the pumps at Hell gas station. Barnes said he saw Anglin clearly because the handkerchief he was wearing was not completely covering his face when he first emerged from the side of the gas station brandishing a black handgun.

During his evidence Barnes tearfully recalled how he had asked everyone in the car if they were OK after some six or eight bullets had been fired at them. He told the court how his eldest son, Jemaul, had told him that Jeremiah was sleeping, and when Barnes turned round to see his children who were sitting in the back seat, he saw that his 4-year-old son, Jeremiah, had been shot in the eye. He explained how he drove straight to the West Bay police station where the officers called for an ambulance to take the child to hospital, where Jeremiah was pronounced dead.

Barnes told the court that he knew Anglin was the gunman because not only had he seen his face before he had pulled up the handkerchief which is visible on the CCTV but he also recognised the way Anglin walked and his distinctive eyes. “He has a bad eye; it’s crossed,” Barnes told the court as he gave his evidence in chief.

The witness revealed that he and Anglin had been friends for many years until Barnes moved from the Birch Tree Hill neighbourhood where they had grown up to Ms Daisy Lane and the Logswood area around 2006. He said after that the two men stopped speaking, but the witness did not say why their friendship had ended.

Barnes said he was sure they were no longer friends after Anglin threatened to kill him in January of last year at Batabano Plaza, around two weeks before the shooting at the Hell gas station. Barnes said that Anglin had approached him with what he said was “an attitude” and had shown him a firearm, which was wrapped in a cloth tucked into his waistband in a “rude way”. 

The witness said that Anglin had threatened to shoot him and in turn Barnes had told Anglin he would choke him with his chain if he came close enough. However, Barnes said that with police in the vicinity, he left the area and reported the incident at the West Bay police station.

Answering questions about the night of the killing, Barnes said he saw the grey Honda Accord, which he knew belonged to Darrell Evans, shoot past the gas station at speed and then abruptly stop, turn around and pull in and go behind the gas station shop. Barnes said he felt “kinda afraid” as he thought something was going on.

By this time, Barnes was sitting in his own car trying to get it started when the gunman came from the side of the ice machine. He told the court that his vision was good and he knew who it was. He described how the gunman opened fire and continued shooting at the car as Barnes pulled away and made his escape towards the police station.

The trial will continue Tuesday morning with cross examination of the key witness by Devon Anglin’s attorney, John Ryder QC.

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MI5 helps Met find looters who used BBM

| 16/08/2011 | 1 Comment

(The Guardian): The security service MI5 and the electronic interception centre GCHQ have been asked by the government to join the hunt for people who organised last week's riots, the Guardian has learned. The agencies, the bulk of whose work normally involves catching terrorists inspired by al-Qaida, are helping the effort to catch people who used social messaging, especially BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), to mobilise looters. A key difficulty for law enforcers last week was cracking the high level of encryption on the BBM system. 

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Gun club member fires legal shot over license refusal

| 16/08/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A local sports shooter and gun club member, who also represented Cayman at the NSSA skeet world championships in the 1990s, is taking the refusal of his firearms licence by the commissioner of police to the court, claiming David Baines has acted unlawfully. Dennie Warren JR, who is better known these days for shooting photographs, has been a licensed firearm holder since 1993 but his regular renewal was refused last year. Warren says the RCIPS boss has introduced new requirements and new conditions that are not found in the country’s firearms law, making the refusal of his application illegal. In a document filed last week with the Grand Court, Warren also says that Baines is biased against him because of his advocacy of the right to bear arms.

In his application for judicial review Warren says the commissioner is in contravention of section 20(b) of the Firearms Law (2008 Revision), which requires applications to be made in a certain way, but because he has change them Baines “has chosen to ignore parliamentary intent and supremacy.”  He says the top cop has introduced other rules not in the regulations and he has therefore usurped the power of the Governor in Cabinet.

“The Commissioner of Police’s actions amount to procedural impropriety/unfairness and go against the rules of natural justice,” Warren states. “The decision amounts to a forfeiture of an existing license which has been legally held since May 31, 1993. His actions including the unlawful creation of new application requirements (including unauthorized entry into a private residence) amount to improper process as the statute is succinct and prescriptive on this point.”

Warren claims that Baines has relied upon his powers to impose new restrictions on application requirements when he doesn’t have the power to do so, in particular, the demand for unfettered access to Warren’s home.

Following a number of public comments made by Baines about his dislike of private gun ownership, Warren states in his application for judicial review that the decision by the commissioner to revoke his firearms license is “blatantly unfair and biased against lawful gun ownership” locally.

“On several occasions the commissioner of police has made public statements in his professional capacity … contradicting the statutory legal right to gun ownership in these islands,” Warren notes. “He has taken a view that directly contradicts that of the Firearms Law and the general right of a person to lawfully own a firearm in the Cayman Islands. Furthermore, the plaintiff is known in the community as a gun rights advocate. The Commissioner of Police is well aware of the plaintiff’s position and views regarding the right to bear arms and as such has been singled out by the Commissioner of Police and the RCIPS.”

Warren says that as far as the law is concerned, Baines should have no interest in the outcome of an application to renew a firearm license but his publicly expressed position of a “firearm reduction strategy” contradicts that requirement and as a result he is pursuing broader aims which the law was not intended to cover.

Seeking a judicial review to address the refusal, Warren states that he believes it will be the most effective remedy because of what he describes as “the exceptional circumstances of the case” and the fact that his challenge to the commissioner’s decision requires considerable legal knowledge. “The available alternative method would not fully resolve the questions and the matter requires special knowledge and legal interpretation skills,” Warren states, adding that the matter is also of public interest

“There have been numerous public statements by the Commissioner of Police that indicate a position that is contrary to the statutory mandate that he has and therefore impacts the entire Cayman Islands community at large,” he writes.

At a number of public meetings as well as on radio broadcasts and press briefings Baines has made it clear that he does not support the ownership of firearms in local hands. The police have been pushing hard over recent years to reduce all gun ownership in order to get as many guns as possible out of circulation. The weapon used in the Mostsyn’s Esso shooting in Bodden Town last year, where one of the suspects shot at a police officer, was stolen from a licensed holder.

There are believed to be more than 1550 licensed weapons on the islands owned by around a 1000 different license holders. Although it is lawful to own a firearm with a license in Cayman, it is not the same as the United States, and the decision to issue or revoke a license lies with the commissioner of police and a committee which must decide on the suitability of the holder and the reason the applicant requires the firearm.

In the Sister Islands, where there are currently around 60 licences held for firearms, the applications are not granted or reviewed by the police commissioner but by the district commissioner.

See firearms law here.

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Pageant contestants dine with the premier

| 16/08/2011 | 25 Comments

(CNS): The contestants vying for the Miss Cayman Islands title for 2011 were able to put their recent dining etiquette training into practice when they were treated to a special dinner with the country’s premier. McKeeva Bush hosted the annual dinner evening on Saturday 6 August for the Miss Cayman Islands pageant at the Lobster Pot Restaurant in George Town, where he dined with Jessica Ebanks, Jadine Swanson, Hettie Ann Dunbar, Jera Ebanks, Janelle Muttoo, Alyssa Christian, Lindsay Japal, Crystal Tomlinson and Cassianne Lawrence, as well as Miss Cayman Committee Chair Lynn Bodden. The competition will be held at the Lions Centre on 24 September, when the reigning Miss Cayman Islands, Cristin Alexander, will hand over her crown to the winner of the 2011 title.

However, just before she gives up her local crown, 24-year-old Cristin will compete for another international title when she represents the country at the  Miss Universe Pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil, next month. The live show will be televised on NBC set on 12 September.

(Samantha Widmer who is also competing in the beauty contest did not attend the premier’s dinner event)

For details on the Miss Cayman Islands contestants and their sponsors visit www.misscaymanislands.ky

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Judge’s decision increases Cayman’s standing

| 16/08/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The decision made by Justice Charles Quin in the Cayman Islands Grand court last May (See CNS article)  to grant a free standing Mareva injunction in Cayman continues to attract attention as having increased the jurisdiction’s standing in the legal world. In this month’s edition of STEP Journal, the industry magazine for the trust sector, a Canadian based lawyer writes about how important the decision was. Andrew Rogerson explains how Quin broke legal precendent and acknowledged the need for change regarding a case which came before him concerning a wife’s application to freeze her husband’s not inconsiderable assets, which had been granted in Canada.

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Cops not giving up on Kerran

| 16/08/2011 | 21 Comments

(CNS): Despite the continued lack of significant leads in the missing person case, the police stated on Monday that they would leave no stone unturned in the hunt for 25-year-old Kerran Baker. Although it is more than two weeks since the Jamaican practice nurse disappeared and police say they are increasingly worried for her safety, they also said that they still have a number of lines of enquiry to pursue and they are not giving up. Speaking at the regular daily press briefing, senior officers responded to public demands about arresting witnesses, stating thatthe police are not in a position to apprehend people to make them tell what they know.

DS Marlon Bodden pointed out that arresting a person and essentially taking away their liberty was a very serious move, one used when police believed a crime had been committed by the person in question and the police could only arrest individuals when there was evidence of that crime.

“When we make arrests it is very serious and it needs to be lawful,” Bodden stated. “We want people to come forward because it is in the best interests of the community and the investigation … we don’t just arrest people so they will give us information.”

Kerran was spotted on CCTV at a local supermarket on Saturday 30 July at around 7pm. Having asked people to come forward if they had exchanged telephone messages with her after that time, the officers explained there was no list of names of those who had either sent BBMs to Kerran or who had received them as the technology didn’t facilitate that. The officers stated that this was why the police had been appealing for people to come forward.

CS Jones pointed out that the police cannot just go on fishing trips arresting people left, right and centre trying to force them into some kind of confession but that the investigation progressed based on evidence.  “When we have the evidence, that is when we can arrest the relevant persons,” he added.

Bodden confirmed that people who had messaged Kerran during the day leading up to her disappearance had come forward to assist but those who had communicated with her after the critical time of 7pm were still silent. “If you don’t want to talk to the police then talk to someone else that you trust who can pass on the information,” DS Bodden said, repeating the appeal.

Despite the continued silence around the critical time, Bodden said the police were not giving up. “We are going to continue to dig and dig until we get answers,” the senior officer stated.  “If there is someone out there who is reading this and knows something about Kerran, we are leaving no stone unturned to find the evidence we need.”

Bodden also said that the police continued to comb through the hours and hours of CCTV collected during the investigation, still hopeful of a sighting of Kerran and possible new leads. In addition, he said, the police would be undertaking another overall review of the investigation so far to ensure no leads had been missed and that every line of enquiry was being pursued.

Kerran Natale Baker, a Jamaican national also known as KerryAnn, has lived and worked in Cayman for the last two years. She was last seen on CCTV footage at Foster’s Supermarket near the airport at 7pm on 30 July. Kerran was reported missing to the police on Sunday 31 July after a friend had visited her apartment and found half unpacked groceries on the counter in her apartment in Bodden Town alongside her handbag.

He white car was discovered parked at Pedro St James around noon on Monday 1 August and the keys were found in the bushes around fifty feet away the following day.

Anyone who may have information on the whereabouts of Kerran is asked to call any of the local police stations, the crime hotline 949 7777, Wilmot Anthony Kerran’s father 321 4271 or Crime Stoppers at 800(TIPS) 8477.

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Geddes has six appeal

| 16/08/2011 | 0 Comments

(CRFU): The second half of the Summer Touch Rugby League started last Monday with all teams starting to play each other for the second time this season. It is a time to put right all the wrongs from their first encounters and for a chance to seek sweet revenge. In Division 1, a high scoring encounter between Appleby and Ogier ended 11-5 to the Apples’ with a record six tries to captain Stuart Geddes, taking his season total to 16. The Ogier defence had little answer to the South African’s running angles as he popped up in the right place at the right time, time and time again.  Appleby are coming into good form with four wins in the last five games and their opponents would do well to study the way this team is starting to play. (Photos Caroline Deegan)

Charlotte Beales-Hart also put in a great performance with excellent defence and link play, winning her the MVP award for the game.

Genesis Five Nations completed their first double of the season with their second win over PWC.  Winning 6-4 in the end the ‘Nations were always in command with a three try cushion for the most part.  A brace of tries each for Martin Lang and Philip Fourie showed that quick hands and smart feet will always find gaps in defenses.  PWC never fail to be pleasing on the eye with their fast interplay but Genesis pride themselves on being well organised in both defence and attack, so it’s no surprise they currently hold the top spot.  Louis Greyling won the MVP vote of the referee not only for good rugby but also for excellent sportsmanship, a credit to his team.

DMS consolidated their place in 5th with a controlled performance against Walkers Blue Iguanas.  With their highest try haul since Round 1, DMS ran out 5-2 winners, Tim Rossiter getting two tries on his return to the team after a work-enforced sabbatical.  Both teams have struggled to convert chances into tries and it is largely thanks to solid defence that DMS maintain their position in the table.  If they are going to crack into the top four and take one of those play-off places then they need to find more of a cutting edge.  Walkers, still without a win all season, scored twice through Paul Smith who turned in a MVP winning performance with his energy and drive to keep the Iguanas going forward.

Experience counts for a lot in touch rugby and it was clearly evident when Maples1 started goingthrough the gears against an enthusiastic Team LIME.   The scoreline (11-2) may reflect this difference as Maples1 showed just why they are still unbeaten this year. Special mention goes to Sharlee Henshaw.  Not only did she do the hard yards running set plays up the middle of the pitch, she also scored three tries. 

These were the result of superb positioning to receive the final pass from a team-mate as she drifted off the shoulder of the last defender, giving herself time and space for the easy touchdown.  Katy Bayles and Lisa Bird of Team LIME also had notable performances scoring a try a-piece.  Both crossed the whitewash to a chorus of congratulations from their team, showing that, in spite of recent results, their passion for the game is there for all to see.

In Division 2, the Happyfish Ticklers scored the upset of the round with a cracking 5-2 win over league leaders KPMG1.  Handing them only their second defeat of the season, Captain Jack and his crew of merry buccaneers were delighted with the performance and Onson Mukwedeya stole the show with three tries. I’m sure they will treasure this victory!

The Trident Titans move into second place with an emphatic win over Harmonic (8-3).  The Titans shared their tries out amongst six different players indicating that not only do they have strength in depth but also have a great team ethic, making good use of all six players on the pitch.  As the season unfolds I expect them to be there or thereabouts when challenging for the top spot.

Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennett, JPR Williams, and Gerald Davies – these are but a few of the legendary Welsh players that have entered the lexicon of all-time rugby greats.  However, now I can safely add one more name to that list – Rhian Minty.  Prior to helping Campbells beat Maples2 (6-4), this Lady of the Leek, this Darling of the Daffodil, this Vixen of the Valleys had gone 1,256 days without a sniff of a score – a stretch as dry as a Wesleyan Ministers liquor cabinet.   Against Maples2 she stepped up and delivered a beauty to rival anything Messrs Edwards, Bennett & Co could muster.

Picking up the ball on the halfway line she went round one, round two, a side-step, another side-step, dummy pass, round three and sprinting to the corner dived full length to score the try of the season.  Sadly there is no camera footage of this amazing feat, and I did not see it myself, but I am reliably assured by Ms. Minty that this is exactly what happened!

When the news of the score filtered back to her homeland, grown men spontaneously gathered in small groups and instinctively burst into song with close-harmony renditions of Bread of Heaven, Cwn Rhondda and The Green Green Grass of Home. I believe a famous rugby commentator once said, “You can bet they’ll be singing in the streets of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch tonight!” Indeed they will!
Sir Anthony Hopkins, Max Boyce, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Kelly Jones, Aled Jones, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jones the Milk, Ivor the Engine  and Shakin’ Stevens all stand up and salute the new princess of Wales.  She’s Minty fresh! 

Maples2 are currently going down the rankings faster than a bungee jumper singing Tom Petty’s Free Falling.  Without a win in four games, player shortages are taking their toll.  When questioned, Captain Andrew Dean said, “Some players just Don’t Come Around Here No More.  We have crashed but we are Learning to Fly again.  However, I Won’t Back Down as I believe there’s still Room at the Top for my team – we’ll be Heartbreakers once again!”

DART continued with their insurgence of form and played out a 3-3 draw against UBS.  They valiantly tried to break through UBS lines but some last gasp fingertip touches kept UBS in the game and a score in the last few minutes drew them level.  The game was played at a fast pace and both teams should be proud of the effort put in.  The points takes DART off the bottom of the table for the first time this season, UBS remain in the play-off places in fourth.

In Division 3, a valiant effort by Queensgate Grizz’s Old Fellas was finally thwarted by KPMG2 as the Old Fellas just ran out of puff.  At half-time the game was evenly poised at 4-4 with both teams showing some good attacking moves.  Two tries each for Dave Bailey and Caroline Deegan kept the Old Fellas in the game but after the break KPMG2 stepped on the gas and left their opponents gasping for air.  Two tries each for Erik Ballanger and Ian Roberton and a hat-trick for MVP Lopez did the damage – one of which was straight from the kick-off running round the edge of the defence for a score.

Island Heritage notched up their second full win of the season with a 5-2 victory over bottom-of-the-table Ernst & Young.  Lilia Conolly had a great match scoring her first try of the season and catching the eye of all those watching.

In a match between the 3rd and 4th placed teams, Credit-Suisse and Rawlinson & Hunter played out a 4-5 match to ensure that R&H reversed those placings to go third.  Conrad Proud scored another two tries taking his scoring stats to 15 in eight games.  He is now only one of three players in all three Divisions who have scored in every match.  Michelle Bailey also scored two tries which keep her atop the leader board as the highest scoring female player with 11 so far.

In a late game Deloitte beat GCM 3-0.  In a very close match, it was the speed of Riley Mullen that eventually made the difference between the two sides as he ran in three tries.  After six consecutive wins, Deloitte are now top of the table.

Player of the Week
This week’s Heineken Touch Player of the Week goes to Stuart Geddes.  Six tries in one game earns you six Heinekens in one bucket! Great stuff.  Collect from the bar at the Rugby Club at your leisure – well deserved

ROUND  8
Division 1 Results
PWC 4 v. 6 Genesis 5 Nations
Walkers Blue Iguanas 2 v. 5 DMS
Maples 1 11 v. 2 Team LIME
Ogier 5 v. 11 Appleby
   
Division 2 Results    
Maples2 4 v. 6 Campbells
Harmonic 3 v. 8 Trident Titans
KPMG1 2 v. 5 Happyfish Ticklers
UBS 3 v. 3 DART
   
Division 3 Results    
Island Heritage 5 v. 2 Ernst & Young
Rawlinson &Hunter 5 v. 4 Credit Suisse
KPMG2 9 v. 4 Queensgate Grizz’s Old Fellas
GCM 0 v. 3 Deloitte
  

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