Archive for December 20th, 2009

Senior cop admits slips

| 20/12/2009 | 0 Comments

Cayman Islands News, murder trial(CNS): The senior investigating officer of the enquiry into the murder of Sabrina Schirn admitted, when he took the stand in Grand Court on Friday, that there were slips in the investigation . The last crown witness to give evidence in the murder trial of Randy Martin, Detective Inspector Kim Evans (left) admitted that his officers did not follow through on various investigations relating to another suspect. Evans admitted that, although Lance Myles’ car was searched, it was not processed for forensic evidence and revealed that nothing had been done regarding the threats by Myles and his girlfriend to Schirn or the inconsistencies thrown up by their phone records.

When cross examined by defence counsel David Evans QC, Kim Evans confirmed that, although the phone records for Lance Myles had been requested, he could not say if they had been analysed and what had happened. He told the court he was not aware of the gaps in Myles’ phone record at the time when Schirn was believed to have been murdered, which he conceded would have been of interest to the enquiry team at the time.  As SIO he said that all of the information would come to him as head of the major incident room, but he could not say if any analysis of the patterns of calls between Schirn, Myles and Martin in the days before her death were ever lookedat.

He said he did not follow through on the phone records and did not know how the inconsistencies in the statements given by Myles and his girlfriend were ever ironed out. He confirmed that he knew there were some messages left on Schirn’s voice mail which he might have remembered, but he was not sure of the content or that they were threats but described them as “boisterous” and said he had not identified the callers and did not recall if he knew they were from Myles or his girlfriend.  When the threatening and aggressive messages were then played to him, he said he was still not sure what they said and he didn’t remember if he had ever seen a transcript.

Evans also said he was not aware of reports that a police officer raised in a briefing that Myles had been seen in the East End area on the day of Schirn’s killing. He did, however, state that he believed there had been some instructions issued for a scene of crime officer to examine Lance Myles’ car, but for some reason it wasn’t done.

“That seems to be something that might have slipped us,” Evans told the court during cross examination.

Prior to Evans taking the stand, Acting Detective Inspector Lauriston Burton had also given evidence regarding the details of the investigation and also noted that certain avenues of the investigation had not necessarily been followed to their ultimate end. He admitted that with every investigation it would be nice to have all the information but it doesn’t happen that way.

Burton said that Myles had been eliminated from the enquiry because there was no evidence that he had been involved, so there was no choice. He explained that Myles, along with others who were connected to Sabrina, were all traced and question in the investigation and eliminated.

In redirection by the crown, Burton said he was satisfied that the work was done to eliminate Myles and he had no evidence that he was in the area at the time of the murder. “He was not identified as a suspect as we couldn’t prove anything,” Burton stated.  

The crown officially closed its case on Friday afternoon and the trial was adjourned until the New Year, when the defence will open its case on Monday 11 January.

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Kids in anti-violence demo

| 20/12/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Children from the West Bay Primary School and John A Cumber came together last week to make a clear statement against violence and organised for a steam roller to come to the school and crush toy guns and violent video games, News 27 reports.The kids, teachers and parents hope to send a message against the violent crimes occurring in the Cayman community. School principal, Joseph Wallace, said that even if the demonstration of anti-violent sentiment reached just one person their rally it was worth it. 

Go to News 27  video report

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Ricketts’ lawyer says government owes legal aid bills

| 20/12/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The attorney representing one of the men accused of murdering Estella Scott-Roberts in October of 2008 told the court on Friday that his firm’s legal aid bills have not been paid and are well over the due date. Lee Freeman from Priestleys told Justice Alex Henderson that he had taken over the case in July and so far had not received any payment for his work representing Larry Ricketts. Freeman added that his firm was concerned about two bills, one submitted back in September, which represented the larger of the two, and one in November, and although they had both been cleared there was still no payment.

He said it was of particular concern as the firm now also had to find the money to pay for the work permit for Ricketts’ QC, who would be arriving in January to begin preparing for the January trial, as well as the leading counsel’s travel and accommodation costs, despite not having received any payment. Justice Charles Quin acknowledged Freeman’s concerns and said he would look into the matter for him.

The issued was raised during a brief mention on Friday, 18 December, in Grand Court prior to the trial, which is currently scheduled to start on 26 January. The mention was to confirm that both the accused men now have QCs as lead counsel and are fully represented as well as to ensure that disclosure details had all been addressed between the prosecution and the defence.

Kirsty–Ann Gunn, speaking for the crown, told the judge that the trial was scheduled for three weeks but that four would be a more likely scenario. It was also confirmed that the two co-defendants have yet to elect a judge alone or jury trial for the charges laid against them of murder, robbery, abduction, and in the case of Kirkland Henry, the rape of Estella Scott Roberts in October 2008.  

The two men were remanded back in custody until14 January when they will be asked by the court to declare whether they will choose trial by jury or a judge. The two men pleaded not guilty to the charges in January of last year. They have been in custody at HMP Northward since their arrest in October 2008, just over two weeks after the body of Scott-Roberts, a local activist against domestic abuse and a leading advocate of women’s rights, was discovered in her own burned out car in the Barkers area of West Bay on 11 October.

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Woman run over inside her house

| 20/12/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The family of a 68-year-old woman who is in hospital recovering after being run over in afreak accident say they are just thankful she is alive. Family members told CNS that the woman’s son accidentally pushed the gas pedal instead of the breaks as he was backing up to the house on Ryan’s Road, off Crew Road, George Town, at around 12:35 Friday morning, and his car smashed through the front door and ran into the family drawing room.

The woman was trapped under the car inside her home but her husband and son were unable to free her. The husband flagged down a passing car and the driver helped them lift the car up so she could move enough that they could pull her out.

Emergency services arrived and the woman was taken to the George Town Hospital, where she is recovering from a serious injury to her hand and a bruised lung. Her family said Saturday that she was sitting upright and talking to them but they were all shocked that the accident happened.

In another incident, the driver of a Honda Civic was taken to hospital with non-life threatening leg injuries following a two-car accident at around 7:40 pm Friday 18 December near the Bodden Town Primary School. Police said enquiries are ongoing.

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Turks & Caicos governor signs islands off grey list

| 20/12/2009 | 1 Comment

Cayman Islands News, Caribbean News(Turks and Caicos Sun): The Turks and Caicos Islands has been taken off the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) grey list and has now been placed on the white list following a series of signature agreements penned by Governor Gordon Wetherell, who is now on an overseas trip. To be on the white list, a country needs to sign at least 12 TIEAs, and up to recently, the Turks and Caicos Islands remained behind in signing the agreements. Being on the white list means that the Turks and Caicos Islands has met the financial standards of the OECD and is now regarded as a transparent and reputable financial centre.

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