Accused paedophile given bail

| 20/11/2008

(CNS): Local activist Sandra Catron has raised concerns that Marden Hernandez Kirkconnell, one of two recently charged with the rape of a five year old child, has been released from Northward prison on bail. CNS has been unable to confirm the bail conditions but it appears that last Wednesday, Kirkconnell, 26, was released by the courts. “I am so outraged by this situation that I think the public needs further information on the grounds that bail would have been granted,” Catron said.

“Given the serious nature of this offense and the potential flight risk involved, I am shocked that any judge would grant bail. Also, the public manner in whichMr Hernandez Kirkconnell conducted himself in his last court appearance – by waving at the cameras and giving the peace sign makes me truly question any level of regret at even being accused of such a serious crime,” Catron added.

Having declared that she will name and shame all convicted sex offenders on a specially designed website that would host a local register, Catron has become something of a flag bearer for raising awareness of this kind of abuse, campaigning for tougher punishment and protecting the children exposed to these predators. With Kirkconnell now released in to the community, Catron said she was not just concerned for the original victim but other children as well.

“I’m afraid that he could have access to any child,” Catron said emphatically. “I understand that this particular child has been removed from that home, which I hope is true as social services has an obligation to make sure that this child is now protected from any further harm. But what are the conditions of his bail? Is he allowed to be around other children? Granting him bail seems very illogical and I would be interested to do know who made this decision. He’s a flight risk and poses an obvious danger to children.”

She added that when it comes to child offenders, perpetrators should not be given bail.”Precisely because the molesters are normally somehow closely related to the child and can often have access to them,” she explained.

Considering the issues surrounding child molestation as a priority Catron added that she believes people in the Cayman community want something done. She warns the public however against sitting back and waiting for the political arm to do something about it. “I think that the recent cases have highlighted that fact that this is not something that is going to go away on its own but instead we have to be willing to lift the veil of secrecy on this issue. I think people have become more comfortable discussing the topic as a number of victims have come forward and spoken to me.”

Catron has now created a website and is seeking signatures for a petition to take to government to create a sex offenders register officially, but she says she is still willing to do it herself if government won’t act. Anyone interested in signing can visit www.caymansexoffenders.org

 

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Comments (18)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The petition says that government should do it. Why don’t you people pay attention??

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is long overdue and I’m glad to support the petition.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nobody should be taking the law into their own hands – no matter how good the reason. That’s why we have democratic societies, because we as a nation make laws and not let any old individual who feels a greviance with the Government go ahead and ignore it.

    She should not be setting up her own register.

  4. Anonymous says:

    wow, look at the support this petition is getting! Most people support this and so do I.

  5. Anonymous says:

    As a father of a young child I support Sandra’s effort and congratulate her on taking a stance that even the people we have voted into office have not. They are a poor excuse for a government and I hope that Sandra Catron will run again in BT – she has already earned my vote.

  6. Anonymous says:

    How Dare she question the courts? You are joking right?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I believe in innocent until proven guilty. I must say that Sandra is one Caymanian who isn’t afraid to stand up for her Country and for what is right, and for this she should be applauded for her efforts.

    As angry as i am about the whole situation and i feel sick to my stomach at the way that Kirkconnell conductedhimself knowing well that news reporters was there and he would be on television. By waving at the cameras and giving the peace sign makes it quite obvious that he doesn’t have any respect for himself or remorse for the family inwhich is suffering from this tragedy. If in deed he is innocent how can he have the nerves to face this family knowing the way in which he reacted knowning how much this was affecting the parents of the child.

    The government/courts needs to revise sentences for paedophiles and murders and make these sentences as harsh as they can be, so that when these meneces go to do these vicious acts they will reconsider doing so.

    They should send these types of people to places like Brazil, Jamaica or Mexico so that when they finish with them in prison all that may probably be left to recognize them by is dental records.

    People of Cayman it is time for us to wake up and smell the coffee, this place isn’t getting no better because the Laws aren’t strict enough and Northward Prison is "PARADISE". They get everything in Northward as if they are on the streets. No one is afraid to go to Northward Prison because that place is like a hotel, the only thing it has bars. Imagine getting 3 meals a day and not paying for it, or burning all the electricity you want and not paying for it, like wise water. And on top of it when they leave prison they get money to come on the streets with. This should be a place where they go to serve hard core prison time for their crime/s.

    I think that it’s a shame that hard working people of this Country should have to pay for these criminals to live like this in prison. It’s almost like rewarding them for doing these crimes because they live like kings and queens in prison.

    I can tell you something if this was a place like Brazil or Jamaica and they were accused of any rape and they went to prison the courts wouldn’t have no one to release, because they would be dead and if they make it out of prison someone would be waiting on the streets for them.

    Keep up the good work Sandra we need more people especially women like you. I hope that you will consider running again this election cause we can sure do good with a woman of your intelligence and strong ability to get the job done. And i say again keep up the good work and keep fighting for the people of Cayman and our rights. Some of us isn’t brave enough to do what your doing.

    May god continue to guide you in doing a good job.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Sandra! Keep your chin high. I suspect these negative "vigilante" comments on this site are being drivien by the slack a– PPM government officials. They want to do nothing about this issue so instead of coming up with a solution they claim asusual that they are clueless and want to put a negative spin on what you are doing. They have taken your words and twisted them because you message has been very consistent and comes from the heart.

    The media and community support that you have gotten speaks to the fact that you are doing the right thing here and we will continue to support you. This shows that one person can make a difference and I for one hope you will run in May 2009 – if we had representatives like you more could get done.

    I have just signed the petition and I see it’s spreading like wildfire. Thank you CNS for supporting this issue and posting the link on here.

    FOR A BETTER CAYMAN!

  9. The oh K man says:

    I think Ms Catron should be lauded for taking the high moral ground in her stance against the outdated, unjust and "defendant" biased system of holding a hearing where the State gets to put forward its objections (to the application by an accused for the grant of bail) before a highly educated and experienced Judge, who then grants or refuses the application based on an objective assessment of the facts put before him/her. It is an example to all of us in advanced western democracies not to become complacent and take our liberty for granted. Let us not forget that even today, bail is still a right and liberty a privilege that must be earned through not having the misfortune to actually be charged with an offence, let alone have the temerity not to show regret at having been so charged. I for one would rather see a system of "ducking" be put in place in order to determine an accused’s right to bail, especially for these so called "paedophiles". It is common knowledge that paedophiles float because they have no moral fibre to weigh them down, and that the innocent will sink to the bottom of the sea because they carry the heavy burden of having to proselytise to the unclean, the unrighteous and the sodomites who walk amongst us. Anyone who floats can be immediately taken away and burned at the stake – why bother with the expense of a trial – hasn’t this country paid enough taxpayers money on protecting the outdated rights of its citizens? And if anyone sinks (and let’s face it why would they, no innocent persons have ever been charged with a crime?), then they can be canonised and held up as an example to all of the perils of a libertarian system that advocates objectivity and the rule of law over mass hysteria and extra-judicial determination of criminal cases.

    Faithfully yours, etc

  10. Anonymous says:

    Who said Sandra would place his name on her register? Can you people pay attention for 1 minute? She has said time and time again … CONVICTED persons will go on the website. What part of convicted are you not able to understand? It means convicted in a court of law!!

    Sandra – thank you for your efforts. Because of you the police have chose to NAME these people in ths case which if you notice they normally do not.

    Do a little research – these people cannot be helped. You have internet access – this is not a matter of opinion – its a matter of research and FACTS – this is no cure and the best that people can do is to keep their children away from them. Watch footage on Dateline where they interviewed a molester who has been castrated, on medication and received theraphy – he still wants to molest because none of that works.

    CAYMAN NEEDS TO WAKE UP!!!!  I BET IF THIS HAPPENED TO A POLITICIANS CHLD IT WOULD ALL BE SORTED OUT IN A HURRY.

  11. US Citizen Who Loves Cayman says:

    Don’t you all understand that someone has to be presumed innocent until proven guilty?

  12. Anonymous says:

    As I understand it, this person has not been convicted.  So whilst Sandra and everyone else wishes to presume this person guilty, maybe this publication, if it is responsible, should avoid attacking his presumption of innocence by referring to him in the headline as a sex offender, before a plea has been entered and before a conviction has been recorded.  This type of reporting threatens his Right to a Fair Trial, which is a basic Human Right.  Now, after he has pleaded guilty or has been convicted after trial, now, thats a different matter.  Maybe a strong argument for keeping him in custody is not any premature rush to judgment, but for his own safety from persons who may now be motivated to harm him as a result of this activism and labelling him before conviction. 

    CNS: the heading has been ammended.

  13. Anonymous says:

    "Sandra the Bounty Hunter",  vigilante justice, I love it. Forget the courts, who needs them anyway? At the same time, why don’t we just do away with the entire police service and give anarchy a try for while?

  14. Anonymous says:

     The content and tenor of this article is wholly inappropriate. Some of Ms Catron’s reported comments are simply irresponsible. This man may have been charged but, as yet, he has neither pleaded guilty to nor been found guilty of any offence. To refer to him as a sex offender is wrong and unfair. There may very well come a time when this situation changes but until it does, and whether we like it or not, he is innocent and must be treated as if he were such. If he has been released on bail, this will have been a decision of the court made following consideration of all the facts, not all of which may be known to us at this stage. It is therefore dangerous and reckless to question this decision from a position of ignorance. The last thing that persons with otherwise laudable motives to protect children should end up doing is prejudicing this man’s right to a fair trial. A sex offenders register in some form or another is of course a necessary step forward for Cayman. Vigilante justice would only be an unwelcome step back.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Keep up the good work girl!

  16. Anonymous says:

    How dare her question the Courts! Doesn’t she understand that if the Courts see fit to do something, no one shoud question them?

    • Anonymous says:

      Trust the courts?  What is the matter with you people.  The last rape case against a minor was only give two years!!!  Sandra keep up the good work!!! This is the problem here in the Cayman Islands, everyone’s head is in the sand!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm……I always believed in innocent until proven guilty.   I wonder whether Sandra would be able to contain herself from refraining to place his name on her own register when she starts her vigilante project.

    But do not get me wrong, I also think that paedophiles shouldn’t be given light sentences WHEN convicted. 

    If paedophiles were sentenced to the full extent of the law and harsher sentences were given then one would hope that this MAY act as a deterent to these perpetrators.  However, I think more so, we should have a system in place that actually helps them PREVENT the crime.  There needs to be a support system in place for the paedophiles that can be helped.  Free psychiatric care offered with free supressive mediation.   Instead of people crying that they should all be locked away, why not take pre-emptive measures and put something in place that could avoid the crime happening in the first place?