Anglin told 3 stories, say cops

| 14/11/2012

Minister Anglin & students_media.jpg(CNS): The trial of the Cayman government’s education minister for drunk driving charges opened in traffic courton Tuesday with claims by the crown that Rolston Anglin gave three different accounts of how the car smash which led to his arrest for DUI earlier this year occurred. The court also heard how police officers who responded to the accident report managed to ‘lose’ a mystery female witness who was a passenger in the car with the minister at the time he crashed into bushes by the Avalon condos on the West Bay Road in the early hours of 23 May. According to the prosecutor, Anglin recorded 0.136 in a roadside breathalyzer just before his arrest at around 3:45am.

Crown counsel Matthew Coles told the court, in a detailed opening statement relating to the case, that Anglin had given his first account sometime around 2:30 in the morning to the then Chief Inspector Angelique Howell. The minister reportedly called CI Howell asking for her help as he had been involved in an accident after falling asleep at the wheel. On several occasions during the conversation he told the senior officer that he had not been drinking but he had worked late and was tired. Howell told the minister that she would send local officers to the scene.

The second account that Anglin gave was to the sergeant who arrived at the location of the smash. The crown alleged that the minister told the officer that he had swerved to avoid an on-coming vehicle and had ended up “over here”, an indication by Anglin where the car was when the officers arrived.

In his final account, the crown stated that Anglin submitted a formal statement to the police sometime after the accident in which he gave a third and different description of how the accident happened on what was said to have been a very rainy night. Anglin said that he had attempted to turn his car around as he had forgotten to buy dog food at the 24 hour gas station on his way to West Bay. Anglin stated that he checked that the road was clear, but as he made the turn the car skidded during the manoeuvre and crashed into the trees.

There was one witness to the accident, who was sitting in the passenger seat at the time of the smash, but the unidentified woman disappeared after one of the police officers took her to the hotel where she was staying to use the bathroom before her details had been noted down.

In court the officer who had accompanied the witness described how he had taken the mystery woman to the Westin and had waited for her in the lobby, but she never returned. When he went back to the crash scene his sergeant stated that they did not have the woman’s name and she was a witness to the crash. As a result, the PC returned to the hotel but was unable to locate the mystery woman.

Meanwhile, at the crash scene Anglin was unable to tell the police the woman’s name or offer any details about who she was aside from the fact that she was a delegate attending a Caribbean conference on the island. The court heard that the identity of the woman remains a mystery.

While the officers were on the scene, Anglin got out of his badly damaged car and began walking around to inspect the vehicle. At this point both officers stated that the minister was unsteady on his feet. One of the officers testified that he also smelt liquor on Anglin’s breath when they conversed about how the accident happened and who his passenger was.

As a result, the police officer told Anglin of his suspicions and he asked him to take a breath test. The minister agreed and the result was an alcohol level of 0.136, which is over the legal limit of 0.100. At that point Anglin was arrested and taken to George Town Police Station. The minister then took another breathe test less than two hours later where he record 0.110 of alcohol.

In his formal statement, which he submitted later, Anglin said that he had taken certain medications that day, although on arrival at the police station in George town he told officers that he had not taken any medicines or drugs. He admitted, however, todrinking one Miller Lite beer sometime between 10 and 11pm on the night before the early morning crash.

According to the crown, an expert toxicologist’s report found that both the medicines which contained alcohol and the ‘lite’ beer would have both been gone from Anglin’s system by the time he took his first breathalyzer test and he should have registered a zero alcohol level.

Following the evidence of the two police officers who attended the accident scene the case was adjourned until 27 November, when the toxicologist and other officers will be called to give evidence.

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