Archive for August 15th, 2013

Premier calls emergency NSC meeting

| 15/08/2013 | 16 Comments

(CNS): In the wake of a prison break-out by three inmates from HMP Northward Wednesday night, all of whom are serving time for violent offences, including one convicted murderer, the premier called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council on Thursday afternoon. Although the issue of national security is still primarily in the hands of the governor, the creation of the Home Affairs Ministry has handed the administrative element of the prison to elected officials and the remit is currently in the premier’s portfolio. Alden McLaughlin said that he was informed last night of the prison break and during today’s meeting he and other ministers, as well as Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush, were given an opportunity to query the circumstances and facts surrounding the escape and subsequent efforts to locate the men.

“The escape is being treated with the utmost seriousness and all available resources, including the K-9 Unit, the Police Helicopter, the Uniformed Support Group and the Marine Unit, have been deployed to locate and capture these escaped inmates,” McLaughlin said in a statement released to the media on Thursday afternoon.

At a 2pm emergency meeting of the National Security Council members were given a full briefing by the Chief Officer for the Ministryof Home Affairs, Eric Bush, Commissioner of Police David Baines and Director of Prisons Neil Lavis. Also in attendance were the opposition leader, as well as Ministers Osbourne Bodden and Tara Rivers, the premier said.

“I encourage all members of our society to be aware of this situation and remain safe. Please do not attempt to apprehend any of these men on your own. If you have information on the whereabouts of these prisoners, I implore you to call 911 or the nearest police station,” he said. “I want to thank the men and women in our Uniformed Services for their hard work and dedication in keeping our community safe,” the premier added.

The public can call George Town Police Station: 949-4222, Bodden Town Police Station: 947-2240 and West Bay Police Station: 949-3999.

See premier's statement on YouTube here

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Ricketts was a ‘man of rage’ claims DPP

| 15/08/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The prosecution has described Tareek Ricketts as a 'man of rage' who stalked and waited for his ex- girlfriend to return home before murdering her new lover in December of last year along Shedden Road. During her closing arguments in the case against Ricketts for the killing of Jackson Rainford, Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards, QC, told the court that the defendant shot Rainford three times and fired a shot at his brother Che while he was trying to get away. The jury heard that the defendant was like a gathering storm and the incident was described as having started with a “few clouds, annoyance, irritation and ill-will that built over time” and culminated in the murder.

The Crown claimed that the witnesses in the case against Ricketts would all have to be lying or mistaken if Ricketts is really innocent. When suggested by defence counsel that the former friend and crown witness, Dale Vernon, was lying to cover up for his possible own involvement, he had denied this and claimed he had no reason to lie.

It was suggested by counsel that Ricketts' car had not broken down by the Mango Tree on the night of the murder as the defendant claimed during his time in the witness box, and the DPP said this was a lie to give reason for his proximity to the incident. Richards set out the evidence that the crown feels supports the charge that Ricketts was the gunman, including the timing, the sequence of events and the defendant's conduct.

The jury was asked to consider the multiple calls and messages from Ricketts to his former lover and crown witness, Tarina Tomlinson, in light of the shooting, along with the fact that after the incident, when he had seen the police road blocks around the area in which his children live, Ricketts stopped trying to contact Tomlinson. According to telephone records, Ricketts did, however, make calls to his two friends, Dale Vernon and Edrick Seymour.

The crown rejected claims by Ricketts that he was worried about his two young children being out at night but that he was, in fact, attempting to cover his tracks by "using his kids to cover up his anger about the other man,” Richards said.

In leading counsel's concluding argument, she suggested that had Ricketts not been affected by Tomlinson's outings with the Rainford brothers, he would have not have accused her of wanting him to watch their children so that she could “run up and down” with the deceased, as evidenced in text messages.

Following the crown’s closing submissions, the defence team was expected to conclude its own summary of the case against their 22-year-old client Thursday. The presiding judge, Alex Henderson, is expected to sum up the case for the jury Friday morning at the end of the two week trial.

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Prisoners still on the run

| 15/08/2013 | 24 Comments

(CNS): The three men who escaped from HMP Northward last night remained on the run Thursday afternoon, when officials revealed that a fourth inmate had been placed in the High Risk Unit, suspected of assisting the father and son duo, Steve and Marcus Manderson, as well as Dale Chadwick escape. The prison said there was evidence supporting the suspicion that the prisoners were assisted by a fellow inmate, but it could not be confirmed whether or not the three received any help from members of the public. The two perimeter fences that were cut during the escape have now been repaired, officials confirmed.

The prison officials said that extensive searches have been conducted of the rest of the exterior as well as the interior of the prison before the full lock down was lifted. Prisoner movements within the facility remain restricted as the internal investigation continues.

Just before their escape the three inmates were in a secure recreational area, but Prison Director Neil Lavis has acknowledged that there is a need for improvement to both the physical security and infrastructure of the prison, as well as to the policies, procedures and practices. These issues were identified by the UK Prisons Inspectorate last summer, and shortly after the report was released Chief Officer for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Eric Bush, highlighted the need for considerable capital investment to effectively improve the prison’s physical infrastructure.

The men were said to have escaped via the kitchen block and cut their way through the fence sometime before 9:40pm, when the authorities realized the three inmates were missing.

Although a major manhunt is underway and officials have said that the search is a matter of priority in collaboration with the RCIPS, there were no road blocks established Thursday going in our out of the capital, George Town, or West Bay, the district where Steve Manderson was understood to have hidden during his last escape in 2004. This occurred just after Hurricane Ivan, when he was on the run for more than five months, and was his fifth escape, making this latest jail break the sixth for Manderson.

Officials stated that the inmate who is suspected of assisting with the escape is now in the High Risk Unit, where he will remain until the investigation has been completed. If it proves to be conclusive, the evidence will then be turned over to the RCIPS and he will be charged with aiding and abetting the escape.

Once the escapees on are rounded up, the authorities said, they too will face charges for escaping lawful custody. Upon return to prison, the three will be placed in more restrictive regimes and will lose privileges as a result of their elevated risk levels.

If anyone has information that might lead to the recapture of the three men, they are encouraged to contact the RCIPS either directly or via 911. Under no circumstances should anyone attempt to apprehend them on their own.

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New Health Authority Board members named

| 15/08/2013 | 32 Comments

(CNS): Government continued its overhaul of boards this week with the appointment of the Health Services Authority Board.  Albert Anderson has been appointed the chair with Jonathan Tibbetts his deputy chair. Existing Board member Wanda Ebanks will continue in her role as legal advisor, while Ryan Walrond also retains his position as IT representative. Karie Bergstrom has been appointed as the board’s human resources representative and Baron Jacob will be the board’s accountant. Dr Ruthlyn Pomares is the board’s medical expert. In a release from the HSA Health Minister Osbourne Bodden said the new board was “a very competent group of individuals” .

“I’m very excited at the prospect of us working together to improve our health services in this country and finding the best way forward for the HSA at this time,” he said.  “This is an extremely active time for Cayman’s medical industry and medical tourism is on the rise; hence these are interesting times to re-shape and guide our future plans.”

Bodden said the government would continue in its quest to bring affordable and accessible healthcare to residents of the Cayman Islands. “Overseas health care is very expensive and we have to seek to improve our local offerings to reduce this,” he added

Having every confidence in the newly created HSA board, Bodden said he and his ministry looked forward to working alongside the board to meet the goals.

Thanking the outgoing board for their hard work in charting a sustainable path forward for Cayman’s healthcare, he said the new team was would build on their efforts.

HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood said that healthcare globally was at a crucial juncture, and all countries were trying to balance the medical needs of their populations with skyrocketing healthcare costs. However, she said she had every faith that the new board would help the Cayman Islands deal with this difficult balancing act.

Meanwhile, according to the government Gazettes, the Central Planning Authority Board has also been reshuffled but AL Thompson has been re-appointed as chairman with Robert Selkirk Watler, Jr appointed as the new deputy chair. Members include Ray Hydes, Rex Miller and Eldon Rankin, who have all been re-appointed, with new members Fred Whittaker, Dalkieth Bothwell, Ashton Bodden, Sharon Roulstone, Trent McCoy,  Joseph Coe, Selvin Richardson and ST Bodden.

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Manhunt on for inmates

| 15/08/2013 | 91 Comments

(CNS): Steve Manderson (44), who is serving a life sentence for murder, and his son, Marcus Manderson (25), who was recently convicted of possession of an unlicensed firearm and is serving ten years, along with Jamaican national Chadwick Dale (22), who was recently convicted of robbery and is serving a six year sentence, have all escaped from Northward Prison. The prisoners broke out of the kitchen area after cutting through both perimeter fences sometime before 9:20pm, Wednesday, officials have confirmed. This is believed to be the sixth time Steve Manderson has escaped from HMP Northward. During his last break for freedom he was on the run for more than five months. Below L-R: Steven Manderson, Marcus Manderson and Chadwick Dale

Government officials confirmed that the jail break was discovered during the routine check of prisoners in B wing when it was discovered that the three inmates were missing.

“There was an immediate prison lock down and a systematic search was conducted. A breach in the double fences behind Bravo wing was discovered. It has been confirmed that the prisoners escaped by breaking out of the kitchen area of B wing, and then cutting through both perimeter fences,” officials stated in a press release Thursday morning.
Northward Prison will remain in lock down for all prisoners until officials complete their initial investigation into this matter.

Manderson, who is a Caymanian and serving a life sentence after being convicted of killing a prison guard, is 5-feet 9-inches tall, of slim build and of a light brown complexion. He has low-cut dark brown hair.

His son, Marcus Manderson, also Caymanian, is 5-feet 10-inches tall, of slim build with a dark brown complexion and has medium-length hair, with dreadlocks.

Jamaican national Chadwick Dale is 5-feet 7-inches tall, of slim build and of a dark brown complexion with low-cut brown hair.

Police are now hunting for the three men, all of whom are incarcerated for violent offences. They were all wearing prison-issued blue pants and white t-shirts when they broke out of HMP Northward.

Officials noted that it is a criminal offence to assist or harbour escaped inmates and appealed to the public to come forward with information on the whereabouts of these prisoners.

People are asked to call 911 or the nearest police station: George Town Police Station: 949-4222, Bodden Town Police Station: 947-2240 and West Bay Police Station: 949-3999.

Check back to CNS for updates.

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Cayman’s Thomas still top scorer after two days

| 15/08/2013 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Despite many more goals from the visiting teams during the second day of the CONCACAF Men’s Under-15 development tournament, no one has bettered Leighton Thomas’ five goals and the young Cayman player remains the top scorer in the contest so far. Thomas will get a chance to add to his scorecard this evening when the Cayman Islands takes on the US Virgin Islands at the Truman Bodden at 7:30pm. The game is free to enter and the public is encouraged to cheer on the national squad, whose historic performance on Tuesday with a 12-nil victory over St Maarten has put them at the top of Group A.

During the Group C and D openers on Wednesday, 16 goals were scored in four matches. At Ed Bush Stadium, Puerto Rico beat Martinique in a competitive fixture with a late second half goal.  El Salvador pulled away from Antigua and Barbuda in the second half, with three late goals for a 3-0 win, and Guadeloupe dominated the game at the Annex Stadium, beating Curacao 6-0 after four goals in the final ten minutes.

With a strong local crowd in support, one of the tournament favourites Honduras beat St. Martin, 5-0, placing them provisionally second in Group C.

The 4:30 match at Truman Bodden between Trinidad & Tobago and Honduras remains provisionally scheduled pending the arrival of the Trinidadian team to the island who are expected to arrive today.

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Tropical storm forms off Cape Verde Islands

| 15/08/2013 | 11 Comments

(CNS): Tropical Storm Erin was beginning its rumble across the Atlantic Thursday morning after the weather depression churned into a storm in the early hours.  At 7am local time Erin was around 65 miles south of the Cape Verde Islands travelling at 16mph towards the west-northwest. With winds of 40mph and some higher gusts, forecasters said Erin, which is about 35 miles wide, was expected to slow down in the next few days as it begins to strengthen. Meanwhile, an area of disturbed weather in the north western Caribbean, which brought wet and windy weather to Cayman, became less organised overnight, experts said.

Forecasters said there was less chance that the weather system would become a storm but still said it had a 50/50 chance within the next two days.

Local forecasters were expecting much clearer skies and less rain across Cayman Thursday, with only a 30% chance of showers. Winds will be from the east to southeast at 10 to 15 knots and moderate seas with wave heights of 3 to 5 feet.

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Three inmates on run from HMP Northward

| 15/08/2013 | 17 Comments

(CNS): The police have confirmed that they are involved in a major manhunt following the escape of three inmates from Northward Prison in the district of Bodden Town last night. Although at least one of the inmates on the run is believed to be a violent offender, the authorities have issued no information on the jail break. Police did say that the prisoners broke out at around 9:40 on Wednesday evening but gave no details on how they managed to escape and directed enquiries to the prison. CNS has contacted the prison authorities and Government Information Services and any details received regarding the incident will be posted immediately.


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