Seales to face SPIT witness over labour complaint

| 05/02/2010

Cayman Islands news, Grand Cayman local news, Cayman Net News(CNS): John Evans, the man who was at the centre of the Operation Tempura investigation and a former reporter with Cayman Net News, is to face his former boss, Desmond Seales, at a Labour Tribunal next month. Evans was one of two former staff members at the newspaper involved with the search for possible evidence against Seales suggesting he was involved in a corrupt relationship with Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis, which triggered the controversial and expensive UK special police investigation. Since then, Evans has been pursuing a case against Seales for various employment violations.

Evans confirmed that he recently received notification from the Department of Employment Relations that his hearing has been set for Wednesday 17 March, when Evans will be presenting a number of alleged complaints against Seales regarding his employment with Cayman Net News and his subsequent dismissal.

Evans said that although this had been a long road and the hearing itself is closed to the press, he was still pleased that it was going ahead. “I believe that it presents an opportunity for the working practices at Cayman Net News, and Mr Seales’ other companies, to be placed under official scrutiny, free from the veil of secrecy that normally surrounds them,” Evans said. “There are many other former employees who I know have unsettled grievances against our former employer. Hopefully, my decision to pursue this matter relentlessly over the past two years will now encourage them to also seek redress.”  

Seales faced some considerable financial difficulties last year, which came to a head when his previous landlord at Alissta Towers took legal action against him for some $55,000 in outstanding rent and eventually evicted the newspaper proprietor and his staff. Since then Seales has been based at offices in the Mirco Centre in George Town.

CNS understands that a number of other staff members have also filed various complaints about Seales with the DER and other government agencies over the last 12 months. It appears, however, that Evans is the first to persue his case to a tribunal. Evans also has outstanding complaints with the police here and in the UK regarding his involvement in Operation Tempura.

Evans became a key crown witness in the SPIT’s case against Lyndon Martin, who was tried for doing acts intending to pervert the course of public justice and falsely accusing Anthony Ennis of a crime. Martin alleged that during his time on staff at Cayman Net News he was convinced by Seales that Ennis was the newspaper boss’s police source and reported his suspicions to senior police officers in the RCIPS, who initiated an internal investigation and ultimately the $10 million plus enquiry into so-called police corruption.

When Evans was finally brought to court during Lyndon’s trial and took the stand, he made it clear he believed Martin was innocent and that he had been led to believe that Ennis was Seales’ police source. Evans told the court that Seales had also told him that he had a senior police source who was leaking him information, which was Anthony Ennis. During the trial Evans described Seales as “vindictive and volatile” and not someone he wanted to be on the wrong side of.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hit Des all you want, yes, he sometimes asks for it, but you know what?

    He is one of the few (CNS included) in the Cayman Islands that will actually report news. 

    Caymanian Compass only began to print "news" when Cayman Net News started to publish. 

    What was that other paper Peter Jackson printed?  It too printed "news" but was also much problems because here in the Cayman Islands many people prefer to just cover up the stories.   That is why we are having so much problems with our people now.

    Des, I wish you the best, I wish you survive and one day hold your head up high – because you did it, mistakes and all!

    Des prove them wrong, prove them that you are not the man they type cast you to be.

    God Bless your efforts.

    Long may the bells of press freedom ring CNN!

    Just me.

  2. Rorschach says:



    Nor your backside when put to it’s intended use….

  3. Ex CNNer says:

    Having left the Net News a little while after a pay dispute with Desmond I regret not being able to file a complaint myself. If nothing to bolster my fellow co-workers’ claims. Of course I never had a pension and was to naive to even know the laws regarding the pension laws and that I should have received statements.  And of course I had health insurance for a little while but as someone from the office found out after they had a medical emergency, they were not insured. All of this has left me with being as careful with my employee benefits as possible but hey now I work and live in the US where this stuff is not routine at all. In fact, companies (especially a newspaper) could never operate for long like Dezzy Dog runs his three ring circus. Well I guess now it’s just a one ring circus.

    Does anyone know how someone could owe so much to employees, so much to a landlord and still print papers, fly them to Cayman and get a new office? I’m shaking my head and saying only in Cayman, only in Cayman. There are only about 4-5 employees left there, and from what I can tell a single byline left. Press releases and the obligatory "Acme Co. donates $500 to the Rotary" press releases that fill up 3 pages inside. Why anyone, anyone would buy the paper at this point is beyond me. Who is floating this guy’s dream turned nightmare and on a personal note, if your reading this Desmond – How’s it going bringing Net News to the world when you can barely bring the Net News to Cayman?!

    Knowing Dezzy Dirty Dog Seales ginormous ego, I am sure he is licking his wounds and the day "soon come" when Net News will be No More News. Good for the people of Cayman and continue to support CNS which does the island a great service by not only getting news up fast and questioning the wussy journalism rules of that island, but the forums allow for some intelligent conversation between expats and Caymanians. Sometimes is devolves into stupidness but overall there is some healthy debate going on here that seems to scare the establishment because of its candidness.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The net News was never worth buying. It’s always been a pitiful excuse for a newspaper. I thought it went bust anyway. is it still going?

    • John Evans says:

      I have to take issue with, "It’s always been a pitiful excuse for a newspaper."

      Not so. Back in the days when I joined the publication it was a solid, hard-hitting publication – thanks mainly to Wendy Ledger (now CNS) not takingany BS from our boss.

      After she left it stumbled. First, Net News recruited and then drove away an excellent UK editor who did credit to his profession before running foul of our volitile boss. Then Lyndon Martin joined the team. Although not a trained journalist he had no problems fitting into a management role and also proved an effective barrier between staff and publisher – even with all the Operation Tempura BS working with Lyndon was a pleasure.

      Despite this we still could not retain good staff because of the autocratic (not quite Citizen Kane but close!) way the paper was run but Net News got down and dirty with some damn good stories.

      After Lyndon left the whole operation just went from bad to worse. Even the recruitment of the Stoners failed to stop the rot.

      What you see now is the fault of one person (possibly two?) that has (have) sold out a lot of hard working journalists whose efforts to keep Cayman Net News at the cutting edge were frustrated by someone whose ego cannot accept that there are people in this world who know more (a lot more!) about modern journalism than he does.

      I don’t mind you rubbishing what currently passes itself off as Cayman Net News but I resent you packaging up the work a large number of us did there in the past with the current mess.

      And to a former employee who wrote, “Does anyone know how someone could owe so much to employees, so much to a landlord and still print papers, fly them to Cayman and get a new office?” My answer is, “Yes,” think about a bit – you will solve the mystery just as we did.


  5. Anonymous says:

    what goes around comes around.


    Ain’t karma a b&*$#!

  6. 007 For Sure says:

    WHY cayman netnews wont just give up and stop getting DEEPER in DEPT as there paper is so tasteless now.It not worth buying anymore.It is only 4 sheets of paper folded over .Or maybe he could just print a friday paper he might find some news to go once a week.As he cant find enough to print daily .I MUST CONFESS IT IS THE BEST QUALITY PAPER HE USES AS IT DONT MESS YOUR HANDS UP WHEN READING.Now if the compass could come up to that standard we all would be happy