CJ to try Estella’s accused

| 27/01/2010

(CNS): The long awaited trial of Kirkland Henry and Larry Ricketts for the murder of Estella Scott Roberts will open this morning (Wednesday 27 January) in the Grand Court before Chief Justice Anthony Smellie. As they have opted for a judge alone trial and foregone their right to a jury, Solicitor General Cheryll Richards QC is expected to open the case against the two Jamaican nationals at 10:00am before the country’s top judge. The men, who have pleaded not guilty to the offence of murder, were arrested just over two weeks after the discovery of Scott-Roberts’ body in her own burnt out car in the Barkers area of West Bay on Saturday, 11 October 2008.

Scott-Roberts was a well-known local community activist who had campaigned tirelessly to address the violence against women in the local community and had worked as the director of the Crisis Centre for many years before taking up an executive position with Cable and Wireless. The news of her murder sent shock waves of disbelief through the community.

On remand at Northward Prison for the last fifteen months awaiting trial, the two accused men 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 time, delaying the trial, which had been scheduled for last August. Eventually Lee Freeman of Priestley’s went on record and has since managed to secure senior counsel for his client.

Ian MacLean Bourne QC will appear for Henry and Delano St Aubyn Harrison QC will appear for Ricketts. The case, which will now be decided by CJ Anthony Smellie, is expected to draw considerable attention.  

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