Bodden Town MLA faces assault charge

| 02/11/2010

(CNS): Following the charges brought against UDP Bodden Town representative Dwayne Seymour for attempting to obstruct and pervert the course of justice, the MLA now also face a charge of common assault. Police confirmed on Tuesday morning that two men, aged 41 and 37, have now been charged with the offence in connection with an incident which occurred at the Grand Cayman Beach Suites on Saturday 1 May. The incident relates to a fight which allegedly broke out between Seymour and another man with Garrone Yap, a Florida based personal trainer, following which all three men were arrested. Seymour is due to appear in court on Tuesday of next week when he will face this additional charge and those laid against him last month.

In a recent televised statement the government backbencher said he was surprised by the obstruction charges brought against him by police last month and he did not understand how what he called the "baseless charges" relating to an incident at the Grand Cayman Beach Suites had been laid against him more than five months after the event. Seymour also said he didn’t know the people involved in the charges and he was looking forward to clearing his name in court. He has so far made no comment regarding the latest assault charge.

Soon after the MLA’s troubles went public, the premier and leader ofthe UDP, McKeeva Bush, issued a statement backing his backbencher. "On behalf of the elected government, we wish to express publicly, our moral support for our backbench colleague Mr Dwayne Seymour during this difficult time,” Bush said in the official statement. Implying the charges related to struggles in Seymour’s marriage, the premier said the government understood the many challenges faced to keep a family together.

“As Caymanians we understand and empathize with the pain that is endured when someone, against God and against all social and ethical obligations, interferes with that sacrosanct relationship,” the statement from the press office of the premier read. “It is in the appreciation of the circumstance and of those considerations that we publicly voicetoday our continued support and confidence for our colleague and friend Mr Dwayne Seymour."

Following the incident, Yap, who claimed he was assaulted by Seymour and another as yet unidentified man, said he was not pursuing charges against the two men but that he had been injured in the incident. It is not clear if the legal department has elected to bring the charges based on the police evidence contained in the file on its own volition or whether Yap has since changed his mind and asked the authorities to prosecute the case.

Although common assault can involve violence, the charge can only be heard in the Summary Court, unlike the obstruction charges, which are considered more serious and can be tried in the Grand Court before a jury.

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