Archive for January 31st, 2011

Premier thanks Cayman

| 31/01/2011 | 7 Comments

(CNS): In the wake of the tragic death of his 30-year-old daughter, Tonya Yvonne Anglin, the country’s premier made a public broadcast to the nation on Monday evening offering his appreciation to the people for their show of support. McKeeva Bush spoke of the immense grief and heartache of losing a child but said throughout it all he and his family were comforted by an outpouring of love, concern and care by thousands of people from across the three Cayman Islands, from the Caribbean and the rest of the world. “This past week has seen the best of our nation’s love and character, where we put aside all differences and came together to support one another. This love and support has sustained my family and me this past week,” he said.

The full statement of appreciation from the premier:

It is with a heavy and burdened heart that I come to you today, not only as your Premier, but also as a grieving father.

As most of you will know, exactly one week ago, my dear daughter Tonya passed away. Within one hour of arriving at the hospital, my wife and I were surrounded by concerned family members, friends, colleagues and Members of the Legislative Assembly, staff and so many others of you, my fellow countrymen.

The immense grief and heartache of losing a child cannot be put into words. The shock of it all was almost more than we could bear. My wife Kerry and I, our granddaughter Zariah, our son Barry and our son-in-law Chet, and our entire family, have been left trying to cope with this.
Throughout it all, we were comforted by an outpouring of love, concern and care by thousands of people from across the three Cayman Islands, from the Caribbean and indeed from the rest of the world. During this time, I was reminded of something I’d once read:

God’s love in action is the answer to every problem. Love in action is the answer to every problem in our lives and in this world. Love in action is the force that helps us make it to today, and it’s the love that will set us free. This past week has seen the best of our nation’s love and character, where we put aside all differences and came together to support one another. This love and support has sustained my family and me this past week.

We are believers in the Bible as the holy word of God and it tells us that He is our refuge and strength, and that we should at all times lean on Him and not on our own understanding. We (Kerry and I) always thought that she was ours to keep forever. But allow me to share with you a poem which was sent to usduring this past week by two friends. This poem has provided me with another perspective.

The Child

“I’ll lend you for a little time
A child of mine,” He said,
“For you to love the while she lives
And mourn for when she’s dead.
It may be six or seven years,
Or twenty-two and three,
But will you, till I call her back,
Take care of her for Me?
She’ll bring her charms to gladden you
And shall her stay be brief,
You’ll have her lovely memories
As solaces for your grief.”

“I cannot promise she will stay,
Since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn
I’ve looked the wide world over
In my search for teachers true
And from the throngs that
Crowd life’s lanes
I selected you

Now will you give her all your love
Nor think the labour in vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call
And take her back again?
I fancied that I heard them say:
“Dear Lord, Thy will be done!”
For all the joy thy child shall bring,
The risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter her with tenderness,
And love her while we may,
And for the happiness we’ve known
Forever grateful stay:
But shall the angels call for her
Much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand

I thought this was such an appropriate reminder that when God speaks, His will must be done. I believe that all of us as parents want the best for our children. My advice to all parents is that we have to believe and honour God first, and then carry out our responsibility to be good parents, even when unpopular with our children.

As a young child, I heard a scripture from my aunt, a great Christian lady, who was leading a prayer meeting – this scripture left an indelible impression on my life. It became our family scripture and guided me as a parent and in our grief, I commend it to you. It is Deuteronomy 1-10; I will read to you verses 6 through 9:

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sitttest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

To all of you, both here and overseas, all who reached out to us with your thoughts and prayers, those who sent messages of courage, faith, hope and encouragement, to those who sent food, sent flowers, and those who visited us to give us the comfort that only good friends can give – my family and I sincerely thank you for your genuine support during our time of grief. We ask that you continue to lift us up in your prayers. We also ask that you remember all others who are mourning the loss of loved ones, continue to pray for them, as we will be doing the same.

Thank you, thank you all and may God bless you and your families. Good evening. 

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Police make arrest in wake of George Town stabbing

| 31/01/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has confirmed that officers are currently investigating a stabbing which took place in George Town on Sunday night. A spokesperson said police were called to a disturbance at the Dolphin Centre on Eastern Avenue at around 8.50pm on 30 January. When officers arrived at the scene, they found that a male had sustained a stab wound to his abdomen. Police said the man was taken to the Cayman Islands hospital and was released following treatment. A male, whose age the police did not reveal, was arrested at the location in connection with the incident.

Police enquiries are ongoing.
 

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New powers to tackle gang culture in UK

| 31/01/2011 | 5 Comments

(The Guardian): Gang members could be banned from wearing distinctive colours or entering rival territory under new powers coming into force today. Gang injunctions will aim to break down gang culture and also give civil courts the power to ban people from going out in public with dogs that have been used as weapons, James Brokenshire, the crime prevention minister, said. The powers will tackle a "higher level of criminality" than antisocial behaviour orders (Asbos), but will not lead to a criminal record if breached. Announcing the new measures last month, Brokenshire said: "Gangs cause significant and lasting harm to our communities through fuelling violence, creating an atmosphere of fear and drawing young people into criminality."

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PI removal questioned by lawyer

| 31/01/2011 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Recent changes to the Criminal Procedure Code will, among a number of things, remove the right of people accused of serious crimes to seek a preliminary inquiry (PI) before their case is committed to the Grand Court. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly earlier this month, Attorney General Sam Bulgin said the move would speed up the course of justice and that it had support from the profession. However, one local attorney thinks differently and has noted that the decision has been made without a proper survey of how many cases are thrown out after a PI. Peter Polack has written to the governor pointing out that over a five year period some 15 cases of gun related crimes never made the grand court as a PI revealed that there was not enough evidence against the accused.

Polack is particularly concerned as a recent FOI request he made to the Legal Department requesting details of preliminary inquiries over a three year period was refused on the grounds that it would constitute “an unreasonable diversion of resources” because the officer would have to search manually for the information.

It is apparent, therefore, Polack told CNS, that the department has never completed a proper review of the outcome of preliminary enquiries relating to category A offences to ascertain whether their removal would be a good of bad thing.

Long form and short form PIs were carried out in the Summary Court and would see the prosecution place its evidence before the magistrate by calling witnesses to the court. The idea was that the magistrate would then make a decision to commit the case to Grand Court or to throw the case out. Polack says he is concerned now that more innocent people may be forced to face long and difficult trials.

Polack added that, in his own experience, here in Cayman there are very few long form preliminary inquiries, which tend to clog the system, and most take a short form, so, he said, their removal will do little to speed up the administration of justice.

The new amendment to the criminal procedure code will replace the PI with a ‘sufficiency trial’ in the Grand Court, where the evidence will be submitted in written form. Speaking in the LA earlier this month, the AG said that innocent people would still have a chance to be heard, but Pollack argues that there are real concerns about the preliminary inquiry’s removal.

“The inherent danger is that anyone charged with this type of offence (Category A) has no remedy where there is no cogent or slim evidence and are forced into long and damaging trials,” Pollack said.

Polack also noted that the rejection of fifteen firearms cases alone should be enough to sound the warning that removing the PI could see people committed to Grand Court trial on little evidence. The attorney points out that with the implementation of modern human rights provisions for the Cayman Islands next year, this amendment goes against the spirit and direction of those rights.

“As the chief justice recently stated, legislative reform cannot be the only response to crime and that a raft of legislative reforms was being used to respond to the crime crisis,” Polack said in a letter to the governor, as he urged the UK government to consider the importance of the preservation of the preliminary inquiry for the local justice system.

The amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code will see a number of other changes, including the downgrading of some offences from Category B to C, allows the crown to join summary offences with grand court offences and abolishes the rule prohibiting murder to be charged with any other indictment.

See Criminal Procedure Code Amendment 2010

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