Missing man may still be tried

| 01/04/2011

(CNS): The man who is accused of being the mastermind behind the bungled kidnapping for ransom, the first ever such crime in the Cayman Islands, may still be tried, despite not being here. The prosecution service has already been granted an order to try Richard Hurlstone in his absence. Hurlstone absconded from the jurisdiction while on bail during the trial preparation, which should have seen him in the dock alongside Allan Kelly and Charles Webster, who were found guilty of the crime on Wednesday. A Caymanian status holder, Hurlstone has reportedly fled to Honduras, his country of origin, but Cayman does not have an extradition treaty with that nation.

Although Hurlstone was not present during the actual kidnapping of Tyson Tatum, several witnesses testified during the recent trial that he was the ringleader. During the sentencing on Wednesday of Kelly, Webster and Wespie Mullins, who were all convicted of the crime, the trial judge noted that had Hurlstone been present at the trial and found guilty he would, as the ringleader, have been given a sentence of at least fifteen years. The judge said that with the order in place it was now up to local prosecutors to decide if he should be tried in his absence. “Hurlstone was indeed the mastermind behind the plot,” Justice Harrison said. “Unfortunately, Hurlstone is not here.”

Mullings, who pleaded guilty to the kidnapping prior to the trial of Kelly and Webster, was the first person to tell police that the entire abduction and blackmail plot was cooked up by Hurlstone, the victim’s brother-in-law, who before the ill-fated scheme had worked in the family business.

During the trial the court heard that Hurlstone had wanted to start "a new business of kidnapping for money” in the Cayman Islands and his first victim was going to be his wife’s brother. It also heard how it was Hurlstone who had given the phone to the victim’s mother, Angelique Tatum, which the kidnappers called her on when they had abducted Tyson Tatum to make their ransom demands.

Mullings, Kelly and Webster and other witnesses, including those who had been asked to join the scheme but were in the end to play no part, all spoke of attending meetings with Hurlstone, who they said had come up with the plan. The three men were supposedly offered $25,000 each to take part in the joint criminal conspiracy.

Tatum also said during his evidence at Kelly and Webster’s trial that his captors had revealed that he had been abducted in connection with a deal that had gone wrong between his father and Richard Hurlstone.

In the end, despite the threats, Angelique Tatum had contacted the police immediately after she realized that her son had indeed been kidnapped. Tyson, despite being bound and gagged and tied to a chair, made his escape when the kidnappers left him alone in the North Side house where he was held.

All of the kidnappers were rounded up soon after the foiled crime at Owen Roberts International airport. However, following a successful bail application, 32-year-old Hurlstone disappeared before the trial date. Although under curfew and made to surrender his passport, Hurlstone’s disappearance was discovered at the beginning of the new year when he failed to turn up for a court appearance.

It was discovered that he had not reported to police since the beginning of December and that his home had been locked up and his personal possessions sold on a local classified website.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

About the Author ()

Comments (22)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    The reason I left was because I was being blackmailed before, during and after the kidnapping took place.

    They took the criminals, who actually committed the crime and used their lies to try and convict me.

    I decided to abondone everything I worked hard for in Cayman and go back home poor, but free.

    I was not about to spend another day in jail for something I didn't do and I was warned that I would end up in jail, whether or not I was innocent.

    In the 17 years I spent in and out of Cayman, I never once wronged anyone, physically, mentally or any other way.

    When this all happened, I had over 2 million $$ in signed contract for construction work, some already in progress, so I had no need to do what they said, I am used to wotking hard for what I get

    My children and freedom are worth far more than the million $$ home, the $100,000.00, the successful business and everything else I abandone in Cayman, the corrupt judicial ystem could keep them all.


    Why don't some of you poeple review the case files yourself, it don't take a lawyer to see I was being framed, they didn't even want to take a statement from, even though I went to the police on several occassions from the day this all happened.

    Cayman is on a downward trend, all because of the corrupt police force and judicial system.


    Good luck to you all.


  2. Anon says:

    Hummmm, bailed…..tried in abstentia… rather tyranical? Maybe we need some extradition treaties?

    • Anonymous says:

       Well, then I suggest he get back here and face the music.  Trying someone in absentia is quite common in other countries.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We need a law that would stop this individual (and others that have adsconded) or thir spouses and close from continuing to own or operate business in the Cayman Islands; and also to not allow banks to continue to transfer funds to them from the Cayman Islands.

  4. Richard Wadd says:

     Why would one label a person who has absconded Bail and fled to another country as a "missing person"? They are a Fugitive, are they not?

     Besides, the whereabouts of the individual in question are well known to many of ‘us’ who have had contact with him in his present location.

     Missing gives the impression that he can’t be found, when in fact, he isn’t missing at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      if you know where he is, would you please go and get him so he can face justice. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    I wonder why deportation after serving their prison term was not also added to these criminals sentencing. Also the one convicted XXXXX should have their Caymanian Statusrevoked immediately. We don’t need them here…we have our own scum to deal with. The nerve "to start a kidnapping business".

  6. Anonymous says:

    If he is in Honduras, then it’s a complete waste of time/money to try and get him back to Cayman without an extradition treaty between the two countries. The British Embassy has been closed for past few years in the Honduras capital, Teguicgalpa.

    • Anonymous says:

       "If he is in Honduras"

      Just check Facebook.  Pictures are there for everyone to see.  

      This is a failure of our Judicial system: 1. The Judge for allowing him on bail and 2. on whoever was supposed to be keeping an eye on him.  

      You can’t tell me that no one saw the sale of goods online?  Did he even have a tracking device on?  Not that they are much help.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Such persons should NEVER be granted bail. Taking passports because they may be a “flight risk” does not stop them from being a “boat risk” which I can guarantee you is how he got away and probably in broad daylight too!!!! Instead of bail, fine them heavily and they are not to be released until it is paid, then tattoo “undesirable” or “criminal” on their forehead and send them back to their own country. This would eliminate overcrowding in the jail, save money and reduce criminal activity here from them. Thats a win-win situation but granting bail to criminals from another country is bad judgement.

  8. Fed up and broke!!!! says:

    First of all…..why were these men on bail in the first place?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Good luck getting anything done in Honduras, Especially in an election year everthing shuts down like deer in the headlights. There are still getting over the coupe

  10. Michel Lemay says:

    I do not understand why we do not have any extradition treaty with Honduras as so many Caymanians from way back have had close connection with the Cayman Islands. This is an issue that should be addressed a.s.a.p. as not to affect the good persons who have family here and some there unless the authorities (Immigration) start scrutening those who come here even only to visit. I see it as a safe heaven there for criminals who can commit crimes here and simply escape back by boat. For the good Honduranian that visit here and have family here and I now many might be at disavantage one day. XXXXX

  11. Anonymous says:

    We need to have treaties with Honduras that allow us to extradite criminals and also allows us to send those convicted of crimes back to Honduras to serve their time there.

    • Michel Lemay says:

      Good point as the prisons there are far from the comfort and we don’t need our own to learn new tricks of unheard crimes here in the past. They know too much already !

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually you don’t necessarily need a treaty, but generally speaking you do have to ask (sometimes the other country throws the fish back but not often). So who’s going to do the askin’…(which is another way of saying is the AG or Governor or FCO actually going to some kind of foreign relations legal work and when? There’s been nothing to hold them back.)

      • Michel Lemay says:

        15:40 Good point and the more I think about it the more you are right. Let’s see if they will. Oh! don’t worry I won’t hold my breath until it happens.

  12. Anonymous says:

    How about in high profile cases such as KIDNAPPING bail is not given due to flight risk. Then a trial set that give the defense ample time to present their case. Not 1 or 2 years but a few months so the accused doesn’t wait in limbo. If someone is likley going to prison and they are a legal resident in another country with no extradition treaty with the Cayman Islands then this doesn’t seem so surprising. Why then would the Judge Grant Bail. I’m not a lawyer so I’m just asking.

  13. Anonymous says:

    If he is to be tried, it will have to be in front of a jury. How is he supposed to get a fair trial when the Court has not made an order prohibiting publication of details of the first trial? In particular, there appears to be a finding from the judge that Hurlstone was the mastermind. How can that not prejudice a jury?

  14. Anonymous says:

    I think our time would be better utilised trying to catch criminals here and NOT letting them go rather than trying someone who is not here???? What is the point in that so in case he ever comes back??? Put alerts in Immig computer system. Offer a huge award if he ever comes back by boat which would be more likely and hang him without a trial. That would work.

    • Michel Lemay says:

      Or go find him and bring him back by boat in a smart honest way. It is true that his trial might be prejudice by all the insinuation that he was the mastermind. Or was he ? He had more to lose then anyone of the others that were recently convicted.