Judge to try Ricketts & Henry

| 14/01/2010

Cayman Islands News. Grand Cayman local news, court news, Estella Scott-Roberts murder(CNS): The two men accused of murdering Estella Scott-Roberts have both waved their right to a jury trial. Appearing before Justice Charles Quin on Thursday morning, Kirkland Henry and Larry Ricketts both told the open court that they had elected to have their case heard by judge alone. The trial of the two Jamaican nationals is set to start on Tuesday 26 Januaryand is expected to last around four weeks. Following various delays and problems with representation and legal aid, both men now have lead counsel to present their defense in court, which is likely to draw extensive local attention.

The two men have both pleaded not guilty to the murder of the Cable and Wireless Executive and local community activist. Police also charged the two men with robbery and abduction and Henry was charged with rape. However, neither man has been indicted on those charges, which still have to be dealt with.

The discovery of Scott-Roberts’ body in her own burnt out car in the Barkers area of West Bay on Saturday, 11 October 2008, sent shock waves through the Cayman community. She was last seen alive on the night before, when she had dinner with friends at Deckers restaurant on the West Bay Road.

Ricketts, who reportedly worked as a carpenter, and Henry, a gardener, who were both residing in George Town at the time, were arrested by police on Monday, 27October 2008. The two men have been remanded in custody at HMP Northward since their arrest.

The two defendants had faced considerable difficulties regarding their legal representation. While Ben Tonner of Samson McGrath went on record for Henry at an early point in the case, he faced difficulties in obtaining a legal aid certificate for an overseas QC, which has since been resolved. Ricketts, however, was without any representation for some considerable time until Lee Freeman of Priestley’s went on record and has since managed to secure lead counsel for his client.

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