Lawyer cleared in drug case

| 03/06/2014

(CNS): After eight years facing drug charges local attorney Patrick Schmid finally walked away from court today with his name cleared. The lawyer was charged with importing cocaine after a small, empty, plastic packet that was in his bag when he entered Cayman at Owen Roberts airport in July 2006 was found to contain a minuscule trace of the drug. Schmitt was charged with drug smuggling, even though the quantity amounted to only 0.0085 of a gram, almost impossible to measure using normal instruments. Following a summary conviction in 2007 and an acquittal on appeal, a new trial was ordered, but on Tuesday morning Justice Alex Henderson directed a jury to return a not guilty verdict.

The judge pointed out that the quantity involved was too small to support a case and after many years the local man was finally cleared. Schmid, who was a former chairman of the National Drug Council and Cayman Against Substance Abuse, had always denied knowledge of any controlled drug but did not deny possession of the items in which the trace elements were found.

Nevertheless, he was found guilty in Summary Court of importing the trace element of cocaine and 0.134 of a gram of methamphetamine in a pill bottle. After convicting the lawyer, Magistrate Grace Donalds fined him $700 in April 2007.

Later that year, however, former Grand Court judge, Priya Levers, sitting as a Court of Appeal found the conviction unsafe and unsatisfactory. Levers said there were inconsistencies in the evidence of the two customs officers and that the magistrate was wrong to find that the defendant's nonchalant and disinterested approach when question at the airport was supportive of guilt, and that she had misdirected herself about the burden on proof.

Despite allowing his appeal and quashing the conviction, Levers ordered a retrial, which was originally scheduled for 2011, despite efforts on the part of Schmid’s attorneys to have the charges dropped.

Schmid failed to answer bail but eventually voluntarily returned earlier this year to face the proceedings this week, where he was represented by Guy Dilliway-Parry from Priestleys.

Category: Crime

Comments (51)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps the details of this case should be put forth. A lot of unanswered questions are left in my mind. 

    Why was the case squashed?, What about the charges of failing to appear on Bail conditions?, what about the Meth Drug that was also found in his possession? Why did the matter take 8 years?, Why did he run off to another country? 

    For me fair justice is what I'm questioning regardless of  nationality. It doesn't matter if I went to school with him or how much of a friend he is to me. Justice must be done without hindrance and  prejudice. 

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe people need to learn not to judge others, because honestly speaking we all SIN.

      Don' judge, pass remarks,comment, NADA ! Because you SIN just like Mr. Schimd, just differently.

      But we are no any better than the poor man sitting on the side of the road.

      People HUMBLE yourselves. We are our brother keeper.

      Be the chane you want to see!!

       

       

       
      • Anonymous says:

        That's right – no one should ever go to jail for the crimes they commit – that would be judging them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The police and crown prosecutors who brought this case are first class dunces. They wasted precious government resources on an amount of contraban so tiny an ant couldnt get a buzz from it. A total shameful flagrant stupid waste of our money and government's manpower. As if the courts aren't backed up enough with real cases, some clowns play fast and loose and bring cases like this to insult the court.

    Nicky, please, please, please do FOI how much this case cost government.  This is money and resources that could have been used to catch real criminals. No damn wonder this country is going to hell in a hand basket. Far too many people do idiotic things seemingly without any accountability or policy in force to keep brain-dead morons from wasting time, money and manpower.  Who is the responsible party with oversight that allowed this case to proceed. Name and shame!

    CNS: Anyone can do an FOI.

     

  3. Mark Hennings says:

    Good for you Paddy.

  4. a Happy Expat says:

     It gives me great joy that this ended well for a person who is very intelligent, charitable and kind to people. 

    Señor Patricio wish you the best  from now on.
     
     
  5. Anonymous says:

    The quantity of cocaine is extremely miniscule; almost non-existent.  The amount of metamphetamines is a bit larger, but still very small.  Cocaine and metamphetamines can be used as performance-enhancing drugs, for working out, etc…  Based on the miniscule amounts, the verdict was correct.  XXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      To get an idea of how miniscule the 0.0085 of a gram of cocaine truly is, understand that a single grain of table salt weighs about 16 times more than this trace of cocaine.

      Snopes has an article confirming that a large percentage of US currency is contaminated with traces of cocine, about 4 out of every 5 bills. And the average contaminated bill is contaminated with 0.000016 grams of cocaine.   As with any averages, some individual notes will have much more, some much less.

      • Coconutz says:

        You're absolutely correct – I read the same…  The number thrown around is of approximately 90% of US bills with traces of cocaine. 

  6. Anon says:

    Thanks be to God! 

  7. Anonymous says:

    So happy for you Patrick…onwards and upwards!

  8. Dwene Ebanks says:

    I have been impressed with the judgements coming from Judge Charles Quinn's courtroom but I need to add Judge Alexander to this list also. 

    Patrick, to say am happy for you my caymanian brother and friend is putting it mildly. When I think of all that you have given to this country:time, talent and smarts it seems and feel right. 

    More than this, I have known you from childhood and you have always been a force for good. 

    Today, you are liberated from the weight that has kept you smothered and unable to contribute in meaningful ways for the past few years. We need your talent in the work of this country and I celebrate this journey with you bro. 

    Justice has been served – thanks be to God. Head up and mount the horse again. We are behind you scholar. 

    Continued blessings. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Something missing here. Talks about why the cocaine convction was quashed which seems straightforward….but what about the methamphetamine?

    • anonymous says:

      And failing to answer bail? Something is not right here,

      • Anonymous says:

        Sounhds like the same person with a personal vendetta of some sort – or are you just inherently a negative person?

        • Anonymous says:

          Why is asking what a lawyer did not attend a trial when they were on bail indicative of a vendetta?  It is a fair question.

        • Anonymous says:

          As before…. Touchy touchy

    • Anonymous says:

      I think that your comment is taken very much out of context, especially as you most likely do not know the full facts. If anything, you have added nothing to the discussion and your comment seems rather unfair considering the amount of sacrifice this young man has made. Besides, pharmacological effect of either quantity is probably ZERO on the body in the first place! Maybe you should ask why Govt has wasted so much public funds on prosecuting something so relatively insignificant???!

    • Anonymous says:

      To: Something Missing Here.

      Please reread the article! It plainly says  that the amount of methamphetamine was so insignificant that the judge decided to fine him only, $700.00

      • Anonymous says:

        I suggest you re read the article. That comment was about the cocaine. The piece about methamphetamine does not even get mentioned until later.

  10. UHUHUH says:

    GOD is GOOD! Had this young man been an Expat, he would have been cleared of all charges long ago. I hope he sues them for as much money as did that ex commissioner of police. 

    • "Expat" says:

      Heeeere weeee goooo againnnnn !

    • Anonymous says:

      And good golly gosh, isn't it great to know that a member of the bar was totally innocent!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      GOD is GOOD (or Alluh Ahkbar in Arabic)!  Just because you say something doesn't mean it's true. 

    • Diogenes says:

      Had he answered his bail, he would have been discharged ages ago.  You cannot blame the system for not dealing with the case when he deliberately avoids coming to court. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Were this a fact, you may have a point! Unfortunately, you don't speak to the facts since you avoid his presenting himself (apparently flying from variouus parts of the world on each occasion) between 2006 and 2011.

        • Anonymous says:

          So he appeared in Court until he did not appear in Court in 2011, while on bail and with a trial date?  Remind us again of your point.

          • Anonymous says:

            Dunno – but sounds to me like typical Cayman court case confusion – courts failing to inform Prosecution, Prosecution being negligent in informing defense etc. etc…..logically and objectively why would some one show up for hearings consistently for 5 years and simply ignore them for 2 and then turn around and come back voluntarily?

        • Anonymous says:

          You have to fly off island to get a Master's Degree from the University of Sydney!

        • Anonymous says:

          In other words he sought to be compliant with bail conditions, flying from Asia etc to come back on various occasions to answer the charges. It has always been clear that this was a ridiculous prosecution and it obviously ruined a large part of his life. To suggest he was avoiding the courts simply is not true! – check it out!

          • Anonymous says:

            You seem to belive that being bailed to appear before the courts is a light matter which is to be treated as less important than any other commitments or desires youy may have.  Bad attitude. 

    • I miss Marius says:

      Exact same thing happened to a good friend who was a Canadian Expat of excellent character.  His life was turned upside a down due to this type of draconian measure.  My friend paid more than 30k in legal fees to defend himself and clear his name before leaving Cayman.  It was a bitter and needless situation.

      • Anonymous says:

        I miss Maruius V too.  That was such a long and dragged out, very destructive process.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why does every single news story have to be turned into an us/them, local /expat issue? Every single one. 

    • Anonymous says:

      God??? oh ok…. smh

    • Anonymous says:

      Why did you not sign this post "Bigot and Xenophobe" rather than stay anonymous.

    • Anonymous says:

      Complete crap and more likely the other way around…

       

  11. Anonymous says:

    I'm happy for you Patrick. You are bright and able and you've been given another chance.  Use it wisely and don't waste it on foolish things or foolish ways. All the very best with your future, Patrick.

  12. Cayman Mama says:

    Thank goodness common sense has prevailed in this case.  Thank you Judge Henderson!  

  13. Anonymous says:

    So presumably he can be reinstated in Rotary that dismissed him?

    • Anonymous says:

      I would not want to be reinstated if I was him. Rotary has some pretty shady characters in its membership- just look, study, comprehend and all will agree with my sentiment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wy would he even want reinstatement?

  14. Anonymous says:

    can anyone say say law suit!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      What for?

      • Anonymous says:

        negligence, time wasted, money wasted… etc. etc. wake up!

        • Anonymous says:

          Ah so this woiuld be a law suit in the Court of made up TV law?

        • Fred the Piemaker says:

          I will wake up when you find an actual legal argument for a lawsuit rather than dreaming it up.  He's going to sue the Crown for wasting his time and money because the illegal drugs he was found in possession of were not a sufficient quantity.. or is it that his time was wasted evading meeting his bail, or is it …. no, still lost, what exactly is the basis for the impending suit? 

          • Anonymous says:

            Maybe you should have a look at a little thing called the Euro Convention on a Human Rights, consider the real facts if the case, consider how it would be treated in other Commonwealth jurisdictions that have real Prosecution services, rather than stooges, think about all the other disservices the Crown’s Prosecutors have done to this country and its people and then you might reasonably re-think how far out to left field you are in comparison to most people in Cayman! Leave the man alone, let him live his life, after all, seems he has always contributed much more good than bad to this place. Period!