Cops name sex attack suspect

| 31/10/2011

(CNS): The police have now confirmed that they are searching for 32-year-old Jeffery Barnes, whose last known address was in George Town and who is wanted in connection with a sexual assault that took place on Saturday morning as well as a previous sexual attack reported to police this weekend. Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden warned the public that Barnes is a violent man who is believed to have access to guns. He said people should not approach him directly but contact the police if he is sighted. The senior officer told the media on Monday that a specially trained response team is hunting for Barnes across all three Cayman Islands.

“We are aware that he has access to firearms and he is a dangerous individual with a violent disposition and it is very important that we get him into custody,” Bodden told the media at a press briefing held at police headquarters on Monday afternoon.

DS Bodden explained that police have reason to suspect that Barnes is the man that committed a sexual assault on a 49-year-old woman in Admiral’s Landing on Saturday morning, and that he had approached a young girl in Victory Avenue some time earlier the same day, attempting to lure her into his car. It is suspected that he also committed an assault on a member of his own family a few days before.

The senior officer confirmed that the rape victim called the police to report the incident at around 10:28 Saturday morning and almost simultaneously other police officers were receiving a separate report that Barnes had tried unsuccessfully to get an eleven-year-old girl into the car he was driving sometime before he allegedly committed the rape.

Then, later on Saturday evening at around 8:20pm police received a further separate report accusing Barnes of another assault that had taken place a few days before Saturday’s incidents on a member of his own family.

Bodden gave very few details about any of the various reports or the victims because, he said, all three were live and sensitive enquiries. He stated that Barnes was well known to the police and confirmed that he was not currently on parole, but a warrant had recently been issued for his arrest in relation to a separate assault allegation unrelated to the latest reported incidents.

Unwilling to comment on any of Barnes’ previous convictions for related crimes, Bodden reiterated his warning that he was a violent individual who may have weapons in his possession.  

The senior police officer warned people not to approach Barnes but to contact the police in order that the specially trained officers could attend the location. He confirmed that officers had received reports over the weekend about Barnes’ possible whereabouts but when police responded he was not found at the locations. Bodden appealed to everyone in the community to call the police immediately if they had any information at all regarding where Barnes may be staying and assist the police in arresting him.

Bodden stated that the 49-year-old victim was reportedly waiting for a bus on Shamrock Road in broad daylight when a man believed to be Barnes approached her in a red Honda Civic. He offered her a lift and when she told him she was waiting for the bus he got out of the car and threatened her with what appeared to be a weapon wrapped in cloth. He forced the woman into the car and drove the vehicle to Admiral’s Landing, where he committed the sexual attack.

Police later recovered and seized the car in the Prospect area, which Barnes had reportedly borrowed, and the vehicle is currently undergoing forensic examination by scenes of crime officers. Bodden confirmed that the car seized by the police was the same vehicle that approached the young girl in Victory Avenue.

See related story: Police hunt sexual predator

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