Manslaughter case thrown out by judge

| 27/07/2011

(CNS): The islands' prosecutors had another case fail in the courts Monday, alongside the failure to secure a conviction against the three men accused of killing Alrick Peddie. Justice Charles Quin threw out the crown’s case against Lorenzo Wright for the manslaughter of Jack Forbes last year following a submission by his attorney that there was no case to answer when the crown closed its case last week. Wright’s defence counsel, Mohammed Khamisa QC, argued that as Steve Brown (36) had pleaded guilty to the crime and described how he had lost control when he stomped Forbes repeatedly as he lay on the floor, it was not possible for the crown to argue joint enterprise.

The judge agreed with Khamisa that the crown could not make a case against Wright for the crime of manslaughter and on Monday he called back the seven jury members and directed them that in accordance with the law they were required to find the defendant not guilty as there was no case to answer.

The crown had also charged Wright for the killing of Forbes, despite Brown’s admissions, in what they claimed was a joint intention to do serious harm to Forbes. Wright had thrown the rock which brought Forbes to the ground after Brown was stabbed but thereafter he had played no part in the fight. The crown argued that although Brown had been the one to stomp Forbes’ head repeatedly into the concrete, the men had acted together at the beginning of the fight.

Brown was recently sentenced to seven years for the manslaughter of 49-year-old Jack Forbes, who was killed at the Plaza Odessa in Bodden Town on the evening of Friday 14 October 2010. Forbes was found by emergency services lying a pool of blood and he was pronounced dead at the George Town hospital later that night.

During the sentencing hearing, Brown’s attorney had described how the disagreement had started and how his client had then been stabbed by Forbes during the affray. When Forbes then attempted to run away from Brown, Wright had thrown the rock which hit him on the back of the neck and caused him to fall on the ground.

However, Khamisa pointed out that it was Brown who had confessed to repeatedly inflicting serious injuries on the victim. Brown had described his horror at his own behaviour when he saw the CCTV footage, where he says he lost control. The defence attorney said that under such circumstances Wright, who was not even close to Brown when the fatal injuries were inflicted, could not be guilty of a joint enterprise. It was clear, he argued, that if Brown had no control over his own behaviour Wright had even less control over Brown.

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  1. disgusted says:

    The FACT is… the man was beaten to death and SOMEONE needs to pay for that!

  2. Anonymous says:

    In most places when you and another guy attack someone and the person dies, both are guilty, even if only one landed the fatal blow. Hard to understand this decision.

  3. Anonymous says:

    cayman justice is no justice

  4. Anonymous says:

    Legal Department (RCIP) need to stop charging people for manslaughter/murder without sufficient evidence.  If we only knew how much money was wasted on these cases, probably hitting a million dollars now…They need to get their act together, this is ridiculous.  They have persons now in NW Prison charged with murder charges and no evidence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Legal Dept needs to apply the correct charges – should have been "Accessory to Manslaughter".  It is established he was there, saw the guy was stabbed already, threw a rock to take him down and then stood aside and observed as he was beaten to death.  

      CNS: The person who was stabbed was Steve Brown, who was later convicted of the manslaughter of Jack Forbes. See Forbes killer gets 7 years

  5. Anonymous says:

    And we wonder why crime is on the rise in Cayman and the criminals keep robbing & killing. It may well be because they can do it and get away with it.

    RCIP usually fumble the investigations or don't investigate at all

    The public doesn't want to come forward because of fear & if they do decide to testify the prosecution never has enough evidence to convince a jury or judge to convict.

    The prosecution is only able to work with the evidence provided by RCIP and that's usually not much. If they can't keep track of their own gun inventory I certainly wouldn't trust them to carry outeffective investigations, suspect interviews & evidence gathering. 

  6. Sick and Tired of the B...S... says:

    What has been the cost, to ALL parties, of this recent rash of cases thrown out by Grand Court judges for reasons which it would seem should have been obvious to the Crown Prosecution Office.

  7. Anonymous says:

    "I just hit him with a big rock, I didn't know the other dude was going to stomp him" is a defense?

    CNS: The charge was manslaughter.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I'm surprised they didn't try and charge the rock as well

  9. Anonymous says:

    Legal dept. seems to be on a roll – a bad one but a roll nonetheless!