Archive for August 16th, 2013

Jury stalled on verdict

| 16/08/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): After well over four hours of deliberation the jury of eight women and four men were unable to return a verdict Friday in the case against Tareeq Ricketts for the murder of 23-year-old Jackson Rainford last December. The families of both the defendant and the deceased remained anxious for an announcement but the jury was instructed by the presiding judge, Justice Alex Henderson, to return to their deliberations on Saturday afternoon, when at 6pm Friday evening they had still not agreed his fate. The judge warned the members of the jury that they must keep their deliberations completely confidential until they meet again at 3pm tomorrow, when it is hoped that they can reach a unanimous decision.

Ricketts is accused of being the man who shot and killed Jackson Rainford in December of last year as he sat in the passenger seat of his brother's vehicle at a residence along Shedden Road, George Town. The crown claim that Ricketts killed Rainford out of anger and jealousy as Rainford was not only the ex-husband of his current girlfriend but Rainford was also developing a relationship with Ricketts' ex-lover and the mother of his children.

However, Ricketts has denied the charges, stating this is a case of mistaken identity, a defence bolstered when the crown’s key witness changed her testimony during the court hearing, when she said she no longer believed that it was Ricketts she saw shoot her friend on the night in question.
 

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Two local athletes to compete at Pan Am juniors

| 16/08/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Ashleigh Nalty who will be competing in the women's high jump and Alexander Pascal who will be competing in the men's javelin will be representing Cayman next weekend in Colombia for the 17th Pan American Junior Athletics Championships. The Cayman Islands Athletic Association (CIAA) said both events are set for Saturday 24 August in Medellin which is on the same time zone as Cayman at 18:50 and 19:00. The athletes will be accompanied by Coach Kenrick Williams and CIAA Second-Vice President Jenna-Dell Humphrey-Terry, who will serve as the Team Manager.

The team is scheduled to depart for Medellin on Wednesday, 21 August at 12:30pm on American Airlines.

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QC makes final bid to clear client of murder

| 16/08/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Leading defence counsel, John Ryder, QC, stood before a twelve panel jury Thursday and pointed to inconsistencies and what he said were non-supporting facts in the case against his 22-year-old client, Tareek Ricketts, who stands accused of murdering Jackson Rainford on Shedden Road last December. Ryder told the jury that the defendant had bucked the trend of those accused of serious crimes not giving evidence before the court and had seized the opportunity to share his account of what happened the night of the murder. Ryder asked the jury to think why would Ricketts want to kill Jackson when he knew his former lover had been out with other men. He also pointed to the change in her evidence in the court that the father of her children may not have been the man she saw shoot her friend Rainford.

Ryder justified lies that Ricketts told his former girlfriend, Tarina Tomlinson, because he was concerned she would give untruthful evidence against him and get him "a life sentence" as a result .But the lawyer said his client had never told her what to say during her testimony but was simply trying to sway her mind to telling the truth, as identified by the defendant.

He also read a message to the jury which was sent to Ricketts' mother by Tomlinson stating that she had significant doubts that it was Ricketts who had shot and killed Rainford as he sat in the passenger seat on his brother's car. Ryder pointed out that although there is nothing to support the idea that Ricketts' former friend Dale Vernon had any involvement in the matter, his fleeing the scene and then leaving the island just two weeks after the murder were quite suspicious.

Finishing his argument on behalf of Ricketts, who claims that the case is one of mistaken identity, the senior counsel suggested that the times Ricketts' vehicle was recorded on the CCTV in George Town made it impossible for his client to have had the time to destroy any evidence or links to his alleged involvement in the killing.

Following the closing submissions, in which Ryder sought to raise reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury that Rickets, a former IT technician with a local firm and a man of no previous convictions, the presiding judge, Justice Alex Henderson, was expected to sum up for the jury Friday morning.

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Owners asked to check boats

| 16/08/2013 | 22 Comments

(CNS): Some 36 hours since three men escaped from Northward Prison, police are calling on boat owners to assist with the enquiry. As the hunt for Steve Manderson, Marcus Manderson and Chadwick Dale (left to right below) intensified, Detective Chief Inspector Malcolm Kay, who is leading the police investigation in which more than 30 officers are involved, asked boat owners to check their vessels to make sure that they are still where they were last moored or secured. Police issued the warning as concerns mount that the escaped convicts, all of whom are serving time for violent offences, could try and leave Cayman by boat. Kay urged people to secure boats properly and remove fuel tanks and small outboards if possible.

 

Homeowners are also being asked to check their outbuildings and report any suspicious activity or thefts to the police.

“It’s important that people make regular checks of their boats and report any thefts of, or from, vessels straightaway,” he said. “We would be particularly keen to hear about any thefts of fuel, outboards, flare guns or other equipment. When boaters are out on the water I would ask them to be vigilant and report any suspicious vessels or activity,” Kay added.

He also asked homeowners to be vigilant and report any petty thefts. “If it looks like someone has been using an outbuilding, or food or clothing has been stolen from your property, we want to hear about it,” he said. “Finally, it’s important, as has been stressed previously, that members of the public do not approach these men. Instead, all sightings should be reported immediately to 911.”

People who have information that could assist the RCIPS in the search for the escaped prisoners should contact their nearest police station or the incident room that has been set up in George Town. That number is 925-7240.

Local father and son, Steve and Marcus Manderson, along with Jamaican national Dale Chadwick broke out of the country’s jail on Wednesday evening, some time before 9:30pm via the kitchen block and cut through the two parameter fences.

Speaking about the escape, the new prison director, Neil Lavis, said that during 30 years in the prison system in the UK he had never had a prisoner escape, and he was disappointed that after just six weeks here three men were on the run. He told Cayman27 News that he and the prison staff had failed the public.

“It is absolutely devastating, and our first priority is to protect the public and we have failed in that. I need to take that on the chin and move forward,” Lavis said, as he committed to the inmates' recapture and a review of the prison security

Lavis also revealed that although Steven Manderson was in prison for life as a convicted killer, because he had not escaped for nine years and had worked through the system he had been listed as a category C prisoner. He said the prison had no intelligence that he was planning to make his sixth bid for freedom. CCTV footage offered some information, he added, which had been shared with the police and through this an accomplice had been identified.

Chief Superintendent Kurt Walton said that there were two components to the RCIPS and the prison’s joint investigation: one team dedicated to the enquiry and another team doing the search.

“We understand that there is a great deal of public anxiety at the moment inrelation to this escape. What we want to do is reassure the people that we are doing everything possible to capture and bring these people back into custody. We are working closely with prison officials and other law enforcement agencies,” Walton stated.

He said that what appeared to be the low profile of police was not an indication of the investigation. He said the team was working on targeted searches and intelligence rather than blanket policing or random road blocks.

“Don’t let our not being seen on the roads fool you. There’s a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes. We are going to be guided by information and intelligence rather than doing this in an ad hoc way,” he added. Walton warned people not to help or harbour the inmates as he said they could end up with a ten year jail term themselves.

If anyone has any information they are asked to call 911 or the incident room in GT police station on 925-7240 or any police station.

Related articles on CNS:

Manhunt on for inmates

Prisoners still on the run

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Cayman team dominates tournament group

| 16/08/2013 | 6 Comments

(CNS): The national football team excelled once again when they came onto the pitch on Thursday evening for their second appearance in the Men’s Under-15 CONCACAF development tournament. Cayman managed another emphatic victory, this time an 8-0 win over the US Virgin Islands. The runaway victory was performed in front of another massive home crowd at the Truman Bodden Stadium, which went wild in support of the teen players as they knocked in seven goals in the first half alone. Cayman now has 6 points, and with a 20 goal differential the team is out front in Group A.

Leighton Thomas has kept the title of the leading scorer through three daysof competition and a hat trick after just nine minutes on Thursday (4’, 6’, 9’). He now has eight goals after two matches.

Thomas and his team mates will be back on the field this evening at 7:30pm, when they take on a much tougher challenge — the also undefeated Bermuda. However, with the home advantage and the high from their two major victories, Cayman will be in a good position to take the three points and secure their position as the dominating team in group A

Elsewhere in Group A action on Thursday, Aruba also won a second straight match with a convincing 6-0 win over St Maarten, and Bermuda beat the Bahamas 1-0.

Meanwhile in Group B, Guatemala debuted with an impressive 5-0 win over Grenada behind a stellar effort from man of the match, Esteban Velasquez. Jamaica won a second straight victory with a 2-0 win over a game Saint Martin side.

In group C, however, delays in the arrival of the Trinidad and Tobago team, which apparently dropped out, meant their match with Honduras had to be cancelled and group C games will now be rescheduled. 

Guadeloupe maintained its perfect record with a 5-1 win over St. Kitts and Nevis in that team’s first game. Saint Martin got off the mark after an opening day loss, with a convincing bounce back in a 4-1 win over Curacao.

El Salvador took controlof Group D with a 3-1 triumph over Puerto Rico, and a last-minute goal from Javorn Stevens made the difference for Antigua and Barbuda in a 2-1 win over St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  Martinique also bounced back from a day one setback to defeat Haiti 4-0.

On the fourth day, Aruba will be taking on US Virgin Islands, while both St Maarten and the Bahamas will be looking for their first points of the tournament when they square off at Annex in the early game. In Group B, Belize faces Jamaica at Truman Bodden, while Guatemala takes on St Lucia at Annex.

See new schedule and results below.

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Activist livid over sentence

| 16/08/2013 | 99 Comments

(CNS) Updated with petition details:  A local woman who has been campaigning for many years for a sex offenders’ register and for the local authorities to take the prevalence of child abuse in Cayman more seriously was fuming Thursday when she learned a man who was convicted of abusing his 8-year-old daughter was jailed for only six months. The 44-year-old father admitted various sexual assaults, including forcing his child to watch pornography while he molested her, over a two year period. During that time he also made his daughter watch videos of himself and his girlfriend having sex. The man cannot be named because of a law which prohibits the media from naming sex offenders in case it identifies their victims.

He admitted indecent assault, common assault, insulting the modesty of a woman and making obscene publications.

On hearing about the sentence, Sandra Catron said she was “shocked and disgusted” by the approach some members of the judiciary take to sentencing these offenders.

Although the magistrate handed down custodial sentences for each of the charges on which he was convicted, she ordered them to run concurrently and suspended three months, which means the child sex offender will only serve six months in custody. At the time of sentencing, Chief Magistrate Nova Hall said she had taken into consideration the fact that the man had entered a guilty plea, had apparently been abused himself as a teenager and was undergoing psychotherapy and taking medication to “address his situation”.

Despite the damage done to the the man’s young daughter, who was reportedly self-harming, she was suffering significant guilt because she believed she was responsible for sending him to jail. Hall said that the child had suffered emotional and psychological problems as a result of the abuse and would need long-term counselling.

“She has not yet reached the stage where she realises she was the victim and not at fault,” the judge said.

Catron called on legislators to take immediate action to implement mandatory minimum sentences for sexual offences, and in particular those against children. The activist also launched a petition on Friday, hoping to collect at least 5000 signatures with the goal of persuading the law makers that they need to address the issue.

“I cannot believe that a suspended sentence is appropriate in any of these cases,” she said. “More and more of them are coming to light and finally it appears that we are having some successful prosecutions. The wrong message is sent when a child rape can be committed and then the person serves less time than if they were caught with some marijuana. We have mandatory sentences for unlawful gun possession and in my opinion this is a far more heinous crime that leaves many victims in its wake,” she added.

Catron also queried why the perpetrators are not being counselled and treated for their sexual interest in children, and criticised the courts for not taking the offence seriously.

“They appear more concerned about the offenders and their sympathetic stories that are used to justify their callous actions than they do the impact on the victim. In most cases these victims are children that have had their innocence stolen and that must take precedence over anything else. The protection of our children is supposed to be 'paramount' in law but then the judiciary dolls out sentences that don’t support that legal contention,” Catron told CNS this week.

Catron has recently been taking the law into her own hands with the creations of a sex offenders’ register on Facebook, which is beingadministered overseas and where she is naming convicted offenders. She has named this offender and a number of others who have recently been convicted.

As a result she has become the subject of a police investigation.

“I can confirm I have now been contacted by the RCIPS regarding their investigation of the SOR FB page. In anticipation of this, the administration of the SOR page is now done offshore in a jurisdiction that the RCIPS has no control over and where setting up such a registry is not a criminal offence in any way. I have no control over the page and think the RCIPS could better utilize their resources,” she said.

Go to petition page

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