Archive for September 28th, 2009

Chief Justice hands down 11 years to Jazzy ‘B’ killer

| 28/09/2009 | 36 Comments

(CNS): Following Paul Gordon’s guilty plea for the manslaughter of Sherman Bodden, local radio personality and DJ aka Jazzy B, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie handed down a sentence of 11 years this morning in the Grand Court. He said that while the former security guard had shown remorse, admitted his guilt and was of previous good character, he had killed Bodden in a “jealous rage” and his response to any provocation was “excessively out of proportion”. The country’s top judge noted that unlawful killings of this kind were all too prevalent in the community.

As the judge read out his ruling with regard to sentencing, he stated that this predisposition to violent behaviour must be strongly discouraged and that the court must mark the severity of the crime. Justice Smellie noted that the starting point for manslaughter was 15 years and he had calculated the mitigating factors, but he was concerned that Gordon had previously shown anger and violence towards his girlfriend. The chief justice said that the provocation was not so severe and a less volatile person would not have resorted to using a knife and inflicting so many wounds.

Gordon had admitted stabbing and killing Bodden to the police immediately after the fight and had offered his apologies in open court this week during his sentencing hearing. The Crown had maintained while there had been some provocation, Gordon had still killed Bodden out of anger and not fear for his own life as Bodden was unarmed while Gordon had stabbed his victim six times.

Defence counsel had suggested that the defendant’s estranged girlfriend had been a significant factor in the provocation as she had led her former lover Gordon on to believe that the relationship, although in trouble, was not entirely dead but had also told Bodden, who she had begun to date, that there was no longer anything going on with Gordon, and when she allowed both men into her house late at night at the same time she had created a volatile situation which led to the tragic incident and resulted in Bodden’s death.

“She was inviting an argument when she let her new lover into the house when her old lover was already there who had said he did not believe the relationship was over,” Howard Hamilton QC Gordon’s defence counsel told the court.

See CNS article: Gordon sorry for DJ Killing

Continue Reading

Top judge throws out gun case against teenager

| 28/09/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS):  A young man who was arrested when he was only 17 years old for possession of a firearm walked free from the court on Friday almost two years later after the chief justice threw out the case. Following the prosecution’s presentation of their case against 19 year old Jason Hatch, his defence counsel, Ben Tonner, submitted to the judge that there was no evidence against his client. The judge agreed and stated there was no case to answer as it would be manifestly unsafe for a jury to decide on the case.

The Crown had alleged that a firearm and ammunition, found in Hatch’s bedroom during a search of his apartment was his, despite the fact that the evening proceedings the search Hatch had been in police custody in relation to another investigation. It was also revealed during the court hearing that two other men had been staying in Hatch’s apartment that night, neither of whom were charged in connection with the case.

Continue Reading

Small croc recaptured and released

| 28/09/2009 | 91 Comments

(CNS): A small crocodile captured on Sunday (27 September) was the same animal that was previously caught at the end of January this year in a shallow canal between Vulgunner’s Pond and the North Sound and released into suitable habitat well removed from people, according to the Department of Environment. It was spotted again yesterday on the marl boat ramp at the end of the Marina canal and immediately fled into the water. However, it was recaptured by DoE staff, who have once more relocated the animal to suitable habitat in an unpopulated location.

After the 3-foot reptile was caught in January, it was temporarily held in captivity while the DoE consulted with crocodile experts in the United States and elsewhere. It was identified as an American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), of which there are large populations in Cuba, Jamaica and Florida and whose range includes the Cayman Islands. Using the American Crocodile-Human Interaction Response Plan of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a guide, the DoE released the animal but, unfortunately, the animal once again found its way into the presence of humans.

Given the details of the recent crocodile sightings reported to the DoE from the West side of Grand Cayman it does not appear that this released animal was the source of those reports, the department said.

According to the DoE, crocodiles are a natural if unusual part of Cayman’s fauna. Experience in other countries has shown that American crocodiles are normally shy and reclusive and if not bothered by people will normally not cause a problem. Most reported injuries from this species of crocodile occur when people try to capture or otherwise handle them, so it is clearly not recommended to approach any crocodile you may be fortunate enough to see.

If anyone wishes to report a sighting of a crocodile or other large marine creature in the Cayman Islands the Department of Environment is happy to receive such reports (, 949-8469) and add them to our large marine creatures database, including any pictures which could be used to identify the animal.

Continue Reading

Toddler dies tragically in car

| 28/09/2009 | 54 Comments

(CNS): A three-year-old child died in a car Saturday afternoon and an investigation into the incident is underway, police have confirmed, though they say there are no suspicious circumstances. CNS understands that the girl was left for an unknown period of time in the family vehicle outside her home and may have been overcome by the heat. Police said family liaison offers were working closely with the grieving family but could not give further details at this time.


Continue Reading

Scotiabank renews sponsorship for young sailors

| 28/09/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): For the third year in a row, Scotiabank is the title sponsor for the Cayman Islands National Youth Sailing Championship. The two-day regatta, to be held on 24th and 25th October 2009, will determine Cayman’s top sailors under the age of eighteen. The championship will be sailed in four different types of sailboats: Bytes, Lasers, Picos, and Optimists. The Optimist division will also include a beginner class for novice racers.

All races will take place on the waters of North Sound in front of the Cayman Islands Sailing Club in Red Bay. Spectators will be able to watch the racing from the balcony at the clubhouse and private motor boats are are welcome to view the racing from the water.

All youth sailors with some racing experience are invited to attend the regatta. The races will begin at 1pm each day and there will be an awards ceremony and barbeque following the racing on Sunday 25th October. All competitors will receive a t-shirt and there will be prizes for the top three sailors in each class.

To register and reserve a boat, please email Rick Caley at Boats are limited and will be available on a first come first served basis. Registration opens on 1st October 2009.

For more information about sailing in the Cayman Islands, please visit

Photo: Shane Ebanks of Scotiabank presents a cheque to CISC Sailing Director, Mike Weber, and youth sailors from Savannah.

Continue Reading

United in cruise control

| 28/09/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Brac United grabbed four points from their two leaguematches in week two of the Cayman Brac Power & Light 6-a-side Football League to sit comfortably atop of the standings with a three point lead in the youth division. Nicholas Laurendo of Brac United tormented defenses again this week and snatched his third hat-trick in only four matches. He shares the lead in goal-scoring with Erick Rodriguez at nine goals apiece. Female sensation and team mate Shanelle Frederick continues to shine and remains a top choice as striker for Brac United when goals are needed.

She now has five goals to her credit and is among the top five goal-scorers in the youth division.
Team Olimpia has become the draw specialist and seem content in just taking a point from each game they play. They almost provided a massive upset last week against team Gazza even though they went down a man in the first half.

It was Gazza who in the second half were content on just defending and knocking long-balls forward instead of taking the game to an exposed and weak Olimpia. Instead it was Olimpia that took the game to Gazza in the second half as if it was Gazza that was a man short. What ever their strategy is it is working for them for they are only three points behind Bad to the Bone who still leads the senior division.

Un-Tiro Ballers picked-up the largest defeat of the season with a 9-1 loss against Lion Tail, perhaps because they played the entire game a man short when a few of their team-mates failed to show for the game. That loss kept them at the bottom of the table with four defeats from four matches even though they recruited target man Nathan Walton to help rebuild the team with confidence and provide more fire-power up front where they badly need it most. Adding Nathan should help keep the game forward providing goal-scoring opportunities and away from their defense and goal area for most of the games to come.

CD Marathon failed to keep team Bad To The Bone at bay last week also and got punished by goal hungry Cameron Brown who netted a hat-trick on them and leads the senior division with four goals from four matches. CD Marathon remained at the bottom of the table also like Un-Tiro Ballers with four losses from four matches.

Captain Brian Martin will lead his troops into week-three with no points from all of their efforts and try to keep their heads up and pull-off an upset or two in coming weeks. Marathon has nothing to be ashamed of for they provide the most entertaining football of the senior division which everyone comes to watch, but will have to turn that entertainment into win’s by improving their defense and getting some goals which seems to be a very tough feat for them to muster.

All eyes will be on Brac United next week as everyone is trying to knock them off their crown. Will Un-Tiro Ballers rise to the occasion and challenge the pack in the championship race? Can Bad to the Bones be defeated? Will Lion Tail and marksman Jacob Scott rule the nest after week-three? Next week may provide an upset or two, a clear runaway leader, or uncertainty in the making.

Continue Reading

World Bank warns not to take dollar for granted

| 28/09/2009 | 0 Comments

(Reuters): World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the United States should not take the dollar’s status as the world’s key reserve currency for granted because other options are emerging. In excerpts released on Sunday from a speech that he is to deliver on Monday, Zoellick said global economic forces were shifting and it was time now to prepare for the fact that growth will come from multiple sources. "The United States would be mistaken to take for granted the dollar’s place as the world’s predominant reserve currency," he said. "Looking forward, there will increasingly be other options."

Go to article

Continue Reading

Auditors exposed to negligence claims

| 28/09/2009 | 1 Comment

(Times Online): The big four auditing firms have been left exposed to a surge in negligence claims after the Government refused to limit further the damages they could face. Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) lobbied hard for a cap on payouts. Senior figures involved in the discussions said that Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, appeared receptive to their concerns but stopped short of changing the law. The decision is a huge blow to the firms — some face lawsuits relating to Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion fraud — which believe there may not be another chance for a change in the law for at least two years. At present, auditors can be held liable for the full amount of losses in the event of a collapse, even if they are found to be only partly to blame.


Go to article


Continue Reading

Governor blogs his disapproval

| 28/09/2009 | 44 Comments

(CNS): Pointing to what he describes as “disturbing trends in the media”, Governor Stuart Jack used his official Foreign and Commonwealth Office blog this week to criticise sections of Cayman media that provide outlets for the views of ordinary people. With the heading “Good and not so good in Cayman’s media”, he expresses a largely positive impression of the local print media. However, turning attention to talk shows and blogs, he said he hoped for responsible reporting and made it clear he disapproved of the way they moderated the people’s views.

“Talk shows and blogs play an increasing role in forming public opinion in Cayman as in many other countries. That is great in that more people have a say,” the UK’s unelected representative said in his 22 September entry on his FCO blog.

“But I have been disturbed, recently in particular, by the tone of some of the anonymous free for all in some of Cayman’s media. Criticism (including of myself) is fine. But some of the comments pit one part of the community against another, and sometimes crudely. Some might even fall foul of incitement laws in the UK or other jurisdictions – or possibly libel law here. I personally have no truck with divisive rhetoric and in particular expressions of racial intolerance by and against whatever nationalities or ethnic groups.”

However, he claimed he was not in favour censorship in Cayman. "We can hope for responsible reporting and moderation of postings to blogs and talkshows to eliminate offensive material. Self-regulation of the media along the lines of the UK’s Press Complaints Commission has also been suggested. That would be fine if the media themselves buy into the idea,” he said.

Jack concluded, “Government in my view should only intervene in rare circumstances like national security or public morals, but there too only when really necessary and subject to safeguards. Otherwise it just has to put up with criticism, however unfair that may sometimes seem, as a fact of political life. In a democracy like Cayman politicians are free to defend their policies and actions through the media and, if an individual feels he or she has been libelled, to defend their reputation through the courts.”

A single comment in response by someone who identifies herself only as “Jane” says, “I always find it funny when people try to avoid the divisions in society by hushing it up under the rubric of ‘racial intolerance’ and ‘incitement laws’. If countries like the UK and US had dealt with their social divides when the divisive language started, rather than trying to outlaw it, they wouldn’t have their own nationals blowing up fellow citizens. Violence is the problem, hateful talk is the warning sign and needs to be responded to, not hushed up. How about looking into social-building initiatives, rather than ways to censor the public observation of the intolerant? No one ever had their mind changed by being told to shut up and no one was ever protected by not knowing that other people ‘hate’ them.”

Vote in the CNS online poll: Is Stuart Jack doing a good job as governor?

Continue Reading

Blacklisting threats persist as tax havens still blamed

| 28/09/2009 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Cayman and other offshore financial centres are not out of the onshore countries ‘bad books’ just yet. The latest meeting of the G20 has revealed more pressure to come on tax havens and yet more potential black lists. According to the communiqué from the Pittsburg round, the G20 countries will be continuing to fight non-cooperative jurisdictions (NCJs). Although it is widely acknowledged that offshore financial centres had little to do with the recent global economic melt down, the G20 members have agreed to use countermeasures against tax havens from March 2010.

However, the OECD has warned the G20 nations that it maybe their own tax regimes that need addressing first.

The G20 members have said they are committed to maintaining the momentum in dealing with tax havens and to deliver an effective programme of peer review.  “The main focus of the Forum’s work will be to improve tax transparency and exchange of information so that countries can fully enforce their tax laws to protect their tax base. We stand ready to use countermeasures against tax havens from March 2010,” the communiqué stated.

It also indicated that it would require the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to issue a public list of high risk jurisdictions by February 2010. “We call on the FSB to report progress to address NCJs with regards to international cooperation and information exchange in November 2009 and to initiate a peer review process by February 2010.

However, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has warned the G20 nations that dealing with the symptoms of the problem and not the real causes can cause more harm than good. Speaking to AFP, the OECD said reforming national tax regimes in leading countries should be where the focus is because onshore tax incentives encourage the legal use of offshore entities and complex instruments to take best advantage of onshore tax allowances.

The OECD said that the causes of the global economic crisis lay with policymakers in many fields and in many countries.

Speaking to Reuters in the wake of the summit, Leader of Government Business Mckeeva Bush said the campaign against offshore centres was misdirected. "It’s not fair," said Bush. He said that the anti-tax haven "finger pointing" by the world’s richest and most powerful governments is hypocritical and seeks to shift blame away from their own failed policies and lax regulation. "It’s the fault of the onshore centres who taxed their own people … money is running away from them now," Bush said.

An OECD report "Reform and exit strategies" implies that the main causes of the global crisis were borrowing by governments and unduly low interest rates by central banks. Official distortion of exchange rates then prevented markets from absorbing the global trade and savings imbalances which resulted. In the West, a social bias towards "easy money policies" led to "excess liquidity, asset bubbles and leverage."

Another cause was the so-called "American dream" vote by Congress to push out zero asset-backed home loans to low income households. "Banks respond to the signals they are given," the report suggests. It also points to the risk that mortgage tax relief, of the type associated with subprime loans, could result in households falling into excessive debt.

Author of the report, Adrian Blundell-Wignall, says a cause of the crisis, given little or no public attention, was national tax systems in leading economies. These unduly favour corporate risk and debt leverage and were the main force behind much-criticised structured financial instruments. But the issue of domestic tax reform "needs to be on the long-run agenda," Blundell-Wignall said.

He also cites a degree of incompetence in bank boardrooms, the pooling of businesses within financial groups which ensured contagion if part of the group collapsed, and unduly complex or overlapping rules and supervision.

Continue Reading