Archive for August 19th, 2011

Acquitted man returns to jail over gun accusations

| 19/08/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A 20-year-old West Bay man has been returned to jail less than a month after being acquitted of a murder charge. Jose Sanchez was placed on bail after being charged with a firearms offense just a few days after he walked free from the Grand Court. The West Bay man had been released, along with Robert Crawford and Deward Bush, on 25 July after the trial for the fatal shooting of Alrick Peddie last year. Charged with possession of an imitation firearm, Sanchez was released on bail on 2 August but following a breach of the conditions, Justice Alex Henderson denied his fresh bail application Friday and remanded him in custody until his trial. 

Sanchez had been in jail on remand since April 2010 after he was arrested in the Peddie case and sent to Northward with his co accused. However, last month, following a judge alone trial, the men were all found not guilty as Justice Harrison said he did not find the crown's key witness credible. Peddie, a.k.a. Bling, was gunned down in Michael Ebanks' family yard on Willie Farington Drive on the 24 March.

Ebanks was the crown's key witness and the main element of the case against Bush, Sanchez and Crawford, who were charged with the murder as a joint enterprise. In his ruling, the judge said the case had hung on the credibility of Ebanks' eyewitness account as the prosecution had very little forensic and circumstantial evidence.

As a result, Sanchez had walked away from the court a free man. However, only three days later he was reportedly involved in an altercation outside a nightclub in Hell, West Bay, involving a firearm. He was arrested the following day, Thursday 28 July, and remained in police custody for several days.

He was formally charged and appeared in court on 2 August, when the magistrate released him on bail to a relative in Savannah, away from the West Bay area, with a 6pm to 6am curfew. However, this week Sanchez broke the conditions and was rearrested on the West Bay Road at around 11:30pm, having broken his curfew.

Explaining to Justice Henderson how that had come about, defense attorney Nicola Moore, from Priestlys, said that Sanchez had gone to visit his mother in the late afternoon but she was unable to take him back to Savannah. Sanchez had then accepted a ride with a friend, who stopped off for food en route. In the process, counsel stated, Sanchez had lost track of time and ended up breaking his curfew and was later arrested near Aqua Beach.

Given the backlog of cases for trial, counsel suggested  that Sanchez could be tagged and released to the home of his mother, who, Williams said, had always tried to have a positive effect on her son.

However, the judge pointed out that when an accused breaches bail conditions they should be remanded in custody, and he order Sanchez to remain in Northward until his trial.

Justice Henderson urged the crown and the defense to find a timeslot for the trial at the earliest possible date, noting that the defense was not prevented from making another bail application if the circumstances changed.

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Store revamp creates space at East End supermarket

| 19/08/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Having changed the layout of the East End location Foster’s Food Fair says that the Express Store at the Morritt’s Shopping Centre is carrying more goods, has a more efficient check-out and a more open feel for shoppers. In a release informing the community about the changes the supermarket said the stores aisles are no longer diagonal but vertical as in the larger stores. “With that change the store looks a bit more open and provides easier access for customers to shop through the aisles. Also the aisles have been elevated giving Foster’s the opportunity to widen the variety of products available at the Express Store,” Fosters said.

The shop now carries hundreds of new items which have been added to the existing inventory. The deli has also been replaced with a coffee counter where customers can get fresh patties and hot coffee/tea and the checkout lanes have also been changed expediting the process.

“We will continue to find ways to improve our business and continue to serve our customers better. We thank our customers for their continued support and we look forward to serving you from East End to West Bay,” a spokesperson said.

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No confidence motion ignored

| 19/08/2011 | 110 Comments

(CNS): Almost four months after it was handed to the speaker of the country’s parliament, the opposition leader reminded the country yesterday that the government has still not addressed the ‘no confidence’ motion filed in April.  Alden McLaughlin said that along with more than 30 unanswered parliamentary questions submitted by the opposition on behalf of their constituents that have been ignored by the government, there were also seven different private members motions outstanding, including the motion that asks government to debate its performance so far.  In the private member’s paper McLaughlin had listed 24 reasons why the Legislative Assembly should declare a lack of confidence in the government, but not surprisingly it has chosen not to take it on.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday relating to accusations made by the independent member and the opposition about the premier’s persistent abuse of power in regard to the Legislative Assembly, McLaughlin noted that this motion was one of many ignored by the government.

However, McLaughlin said that the premier may already regret having pushed the document aside considering the revelations since the motion was filed. The private members motion was originally designed to force the government to justify and account for the numerous things that it has been doing since coming to office which have not been well received by the broader public and to test the support of McKeeva Bush and his Cabinet and all members of the legislature.

The motion had pointed to a range of issues, from overriding the legitimate decisions of the Central Tenders Committee and ignoring public demands for one person-one vote to his handling of project proposals without proper studies, while failing to get the cruise berthing facilities underway and his extensive travelling.

However, since the motion was filed, Governor Duncan Taylor has revealed that the premier is currently the subject of a police investigation into “financial irregularities” in connection with a letter, or invoice, sent to former Cayman landowner Stan Thomas in October 2004 requesting $350,000 in connection with a re-zoning matter. The premier has not formerly addressed these accusations or mentioned the investigation in the LA. Despite calls for his, at least temporary, resignation until the issue is resolved, the premier shows no sign of stepping aside.

“We know that the government has issues and does not want to debate this no confidence motion but by pushing it aside the premier has let things get a lot worse,” McLaughlin pointed out. “With every passing day there are some other reasons why people should have no confidence in the current government.”

The opposition leader also pointed to the motion submitted for debate about a strategic plan to address the short and medium term issues of the current crime wave, which the premier has also continued to ignore. McLaughlin emphasised the dangerous significance of the premier’s behaviour when it came to his abuse of the rules, given he has all of the power.

The former leader of the opposition, Kurt Tibbetts, noted that the House had been adjourned sine die seven times since May and that once it meets again in September, if it meets then, this current meeting will have lasted for well over 100 days, a nd yet the physical time spent in the chamber was less than ten days. He warned that this sort of abuse by the leader of the country set a bad example to the public at large and was reflected back by the current mood and frustrations of the community.

Ezzard Miller said that the people were being tremendously disadvantage by the premier’s refusal to follow the proper rules and said that they had to put a stop to it. “We needed to tell the people how bad the situation is and raise public concern,” Miller added as he and the opposition members implored the people of Cayman to contact their government representatives and impress upon them the need to follow parliamentary rules and debate the outstanding motions.

See no confidence motion and letter at heart of police investigation below

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Robbers steal empty cash register from KFC

| 19/08/2011 | 41 Comments

(CNS): Two would-be-robbers walked away with far less than they bargained for on Thursday night during a robbery at the Kentucky Fried Chicken drive-thru West Bay Road, George Town. Police say that the masked armed men made an attempt on the take-out restaurant on foot at around 10.36 pm (18 August) when they walked up to the drive thru window. One of the men was armed with what appeared to be a firearm but the other who was armed with a machete reached through the drive thru window, grabbed a cash register and ran off. However, management confirmed that the register taken by the robbers was empty. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

The robber who had the gun is described as being 6ft tall and skinny, wearing a black sweater with a white covering over his face. Police said that this suspect had also ran off empty handed in the direction of Watlers Road but not before attempting to enter a parked vehicle which was locked and yielded nothing for the criminals.

The second suspect who grabbed the register was said to be only 5ft 3” wearing a green plaid hoodie wrapped over his face.

Police confirmed no shots were fired and no-one was injured in the incident.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact George Town CID on 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Internet use surges in Caribbean region

| 19/08/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): According to an assessment of global internet figures by News Americas Caribbean internet use is growing rapidly. Internet World Statistics show there has been a growth in users logging on to the web by over 1,000 percent in just a decade. As of March this year use in the Caribbean had grown by over 1,763 percent since 2000. The Dominican Republic leads the way with 4 million users while Jamaica is second with 1.5 million. However, out of 41 million people, the Caribbean only has over 10 million people online or just over 25 percent of the population while out of 155 million Central American nationals over 42 million or 27 percent are on the web.

In Central America, Mexico led the way with over 34 million of its 113 million residents on the web. Guatemala and Costa Rica lagged way behind with just over 2 million of their population being able to log on.

In South America, Brazil leads with over 75 million online but that’s in a population of over 203 million. Argentina was second with over 27 million or some 66 percent of its population on the World Wide Web while Columbia came in third with over 22 million or just over 50 percent of its residents online.


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Cops plan to seek out BB messengers in Kerran case

| 19/08/2011 | 37 Comments

(CNS): Senior officers from the RCIPS have said that the police will now be going out to the people they believe messaged Kerran (KerryAnn) Baker after she was last seen almost three weeks ago. DS Marlon Bodden and CS John Jones said Thursday that after numerous appeals to the people who sent messages to Kerran after 7pm on 30 July to come forward voluntarily and tell the police what the messages were about, officers are now ready to go find those messengers. The police have consistently stated that the messages sent to, or received from, Kerran that night could be crucial to the investigation.

Although Blackberry technology presents a challenge to law enforcement officials, the officers stated that the police will over the next few days begin visiting the BBM friends of Karren that have not come forward.

Bodden warned the people concerned that the police had already given them ample opportunity to come to the investigating officers but as they had not, the police would be going to them. “The police will be intelligently aggressive in this approach,” Bodden said but he not specify how the police would be pin-pointing the messengers.

During an earlier press briefing this week CS Jones had stated that the police did not have a list of the BBM users who had contacted Kerran on the Saturday night, which is why they were making appeals to the public. However, they said that now they would be turning to Kerran’s BBM list to directly seek out those who may have contacted her after the critical time.

With no new clues on where the 25-year-old Jamaica practice nurse could be some 18 days after she was reported missing, police said they would be more aggressive in pursuing those individuals that the police believe may be withholding critical information.

“Rest assured, in the next couple of days my investigators will be knocking on the doors of many of those BBM contacts. We have given sufficient time for them to voluntarily come and speak to us but because of the fact they haven’t we will now go and speak to them,” Bodden said.

Although this is not the only lead that officers are following in the investigation, the senior officer said it was an important one.

Kerran Natale Baker, a Jamaican national also known as KerryAnn, has lived and worked in Cayman for the last two years. She waslast 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.

Her 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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Building society makes bid for young customers

| 19/08/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The National Building Society of Cayman is going after new business at the earliest opportunity by encouraging youngsters to start saving. The society will be launching its new junior savings products, the Student saver account aimed at school children aged 10 years and over as well as the Destiny savings account which it said is designed for college students 17 years and up, at a special family fun event this weekend. Having teamed up with other local businesses for a back to school event the society will be promoting the new accounts with prizes such as Blackberrys, “staycations”, MP3 players, back to school supplies and more, it said.

Officers of the Building Society will be on location to explain the details of these accounts to students and to open accounts on the spot for those who bring photo ID.

The family fun day on Saturday is in association with Digicel, Cost U Less, JN Money Services, Tortuga Rum Co, Winners Circle, OneTreeFourFive Collection, Funky Tangs and It’s Your Party as a back to school saver at the Grand Caymanian Resort from 2.00 pm.
The event will also feature  a fashion show by OneTree FourFive Collection and Winner’s Circle, a kids fashion show by Its Your Party, Jet Skiing, BBQ specials by Blue Iguana Grill, drink specials for parents and students, compliments of Tortuga Rum Company, local entertainment,  special guest appearances and free giveaways.

The society said it was inviting parents to take advantage of the opportunity to open accounts for their children to start the savings habit early.

“The opening of an account may be the first step towards obtaining a home mortgage later in life, and in the interim, the money saved will help to secure your financial future,” the society said. “The Building Society pays the best interest rates on deposit accounts in the Cayman Islands, so your savings will definitely grow. Here is an opportunity to spend the afternoon with family, be entertained and start a savings account with National Building Society.”

The accounts will earn interest of 0.5% per annum and once the account balance grows to a certain level the account holder will be eligible for the rewards loyalty programme which guarantees special discounts from select business places.

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Cops and hospital sign pledge to protect vulnerable

| 19/08/2011 | 3 Comments

(CNS): The country’s top cop and hospital boss have entered into a memorandum of understanding to support the critical investigation processes surrounding young and vulnerable victims or witnesses of crime, officials have revealed. Police commissioner David Baines and Lizzette Yearwood CEO of the Health Services Authority said it will help the agencies to work together regarding sensitive interviews and video recordings, following the signing on Wednesday. The MOU is expected to strengthen the development of an inter agency approach in child and young person investigations and the specialist requirements or aftercare to victims.

“An independent specialist care interview site has been set up through external funding in the Health Services authority which will be utilized by the Police in this partnership approach. Through additional specialist training to officers, support from HSA specialists and the provision of technical equipment the delicate investigations will continue well away from the Police Station environment,” the officials said in a release from the RCIPS.

They also hope that the MOU will help to make the most cost effective use of both agencies resources whilst supporting the critical needs of victims.

The RCIPS Business Manager Mr. Peter Davis who steered the memorandum and assisted the two agencies to the agreement described it as a cornerstone and ground breaking agreement in safeguarding children allowing delicate criminal investigations to be conducted through effective partnership.

“It will allow Police Officers to undergo some access to very sophisticated training in child protection interviews and the Health services to continue to develop its support structures in the care and treatment of victims during the investigation processes.”

Yearwood said the HSA was looking forward to partnering with the RCIPS to enhance its approach to “supporting this vulnerable population and to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

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Journalist arrested but cops cleared in phone hacking

| 19/08/2011 | 1 Comment

(BBC): A 38-year-old man has been arrested as part of the investigation into phone hacking, Scotland Yard has said.  The man, named by the Guardian as former News of the World journalist James Desborough, was arrested by officers on Thursday morning. On Wednesday, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson was cleared of misconduct in his handling of the phone-hacking inquiry by the police watchdog. The Independent Police Complaints Commission also cleared John Yates, former Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke of misconduct over phone hacking.

However, an independent inquiry will examine claims Mr Yates secured a Met Police job for a News of the World executive's daughter.

The announcement followed the release of a letter by the Commons culture committee that suggested senior executives at the News of the World knew phone hacking was taking place. Written by former royal editor Clive Goodman as he appealed against his dismissal in 2007, the letter said hacking was "widely discussed" at the paper.

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Exam fees must be paid before students get results

| 19/08/2011 | 11 Comments

(CNS): Parents are being told that they must cough up with the cash for their kids’ exam fees before they get the results. Education department officials said that the external examination results are now published and ready for all students who recently completed Years 11 and 12 at John Gray and Clifton Hunter high schools and the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre. Students can’t physically collect their results however until Monday, 29 August at the Clifton Hunter High School Hall between 8:30 am and 3:00pm. And student won’t be given that all important news until the fees for the examinations have been paid in full.

However, officials also stated that students from government high schools may access Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) results online at once fees are paid in full.  If they select the link on the homepage and students should then enter their centre and candidate numbers along with their surname and date of birth. Exam payments should be made at the relevant schools where information about outstanding fees can also be obtained.

Once results are released and reviewed, Year 11 students may then select their Year 12 options. Officials said that on 31 August students will be informed of grouping and there will an orientation session for Advanced Placement/dual entry students. BTEC orientation will be on 1, 2 & 5 September and Advanced Placement classes also begin on 1 September while vocational and technical classes start on 6 September

For more information, contact the Department of Education Services on 945-1199.


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