Former minister alleges bias by authorities

| 03/09/2013

(CNS): In what appears to be a catalogue of issues and questions surrounding an incident at a George Town restaurant back in May of last year, former minister and local playwright Dr Frank McField says he is facing further prejudice after being publicly humiliated by a local magistrate in court last week. McField, who was a Cabinet minister in the 2001-2005 UDP administration, has written to the chief justice complaining about the treatment that both he and his partner, Silvana Lewis, have faced since they were unlawfully arrested last year. The ongoing fallout from the incident, when police made an arrest under the music and dancing law, for which video footage exists showing the excessive force used against Lewis, continued last week when McField was assisting at the trial.

Lewis was arrested along with McField, and equipment that belonged to the couple was seized because the police believed the restaurant owners were breaking the law by playing music after midnight on a Saturday night – Sunday morning. However, the El Caboose restaurant, as it was known at the time, in McField Square, George Town, does not have a liquor license.

At the time of the incident, the restaurant was closed to customers and McField and Lewis were hosting a private dinner party when the police made the arrest, which was found to be unlawful in the case against McField after it was thrown out of court in June.

Even though the crown has only the same evidence against Lewis, it has continued with its prosecution of her, regardless of the question marks remaining around the legality of Lewis’ arrest, as well as that of McField.

In his letter to the country’s top judge, McField complained that he continues to be deprived, unlawfully and unconstitutionally, by the courts — and in particular Magistrate Kristy Gunn, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the RICP of his property. But the former minister, who has faced increasing controversy in recent years, also alleged prejudice and bias against him. McField claimed that as well as the music equipment not being returned, documents he needs for his own complaints against the RCIPS are being withheld by the magistrate.

He wrote that the Summary Court officer was prejudiced against him and that, as a former prosecutor, she “may perceive me as a person of questionable character”.

“Gunn spoke and shouted at me in a manner which was very disrespectful during her questioning my honesty and integrity,” McField said in the letter as he described an incident in the court. “I suspect I am not entitled to any special considerations in a court since I cannot appear before any court as a member of the Bar or the legal fraternity, nevertheless I am a Justice of the Peace of the Cayman Islands and as such should not have been treated by a Magistrate of this jurisdiction as if I was a common criminal,” he added.

“It might be widely believed that I have a chip on my shoulder but I have and will always be offended especially when persons in power demand respect but refuse to show that same respect when dealing with me. I too once carried the title of Honorable and that should be public knowledge even to the Honorable Magistrate who is not from this jurisdiction,” McField wrote. 

He said that the humiliation at the hands of the magistrate was witnessed by the defendant, crown counsel and the press, among others. Pointing to the mounting tensions in Cayman between expatriates and local people, McField as noted that colonialism “benign or not maintains a deceitful racial character which distorts the sense of justice of a people and a nation”, as he explained his reasons for writing to the chief justices with his concerns.

McField has also argued that the continued prosecution of Lewis is irreconcilable with the decision of the magistrate that the police had no lawful authority to seize the items which it is alleged Lewis was seeking to protect when she got into a tussle with the police and was arrested for resisting arrest over the allegation that she was breaking a law that did not apply given the circumstances.

“It would appear at least in logic that the assault had to be a part of the act of resisting since resisting is a physical act," McField wrote, as he appealed for the chief justice to intervene in what has been happening in the ongoing and increasingly controversial case.

The former minister said the assault charges against Lewis cannot stand if her resistance was as a result her “lawful right to resist unlawful arrest and injury to her dignity, liberty and health,” he added.

See police video footage of arrest here.

CNS Note: Since writing to the chief justice, Dr Frank McField informed CNS that he has discovered that there is nothing in the law that prevents evidence seized unlawfully being used against a defendant.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Let Frank be the light to lead us on the path to our rightful destiny and to our own Independence.

    He is our 'Gandhi' and will deliver us to the promised land.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love law and order. With proper execution, citizens are at peace with each other and their government. Is this Cayman? You tell me.

  3. Knot S Smart says:

    First he had a problem by being shot with a 'gun', and now there is a problem with Magistrate Gunn?

    Please Frankie – dont go near anything that spells 'gun'

  4. Knot S Smart says:

    Poor little Frankie…

    Everybody is always beating up on him…

    Sometimes back they even shot him in the foot…

  5. Anonymous9 says:

    Keep in mind that NOW all Honourable MLA's remain HONOURABLE. FOREVER!!!


  6. Porky Pig says:

    Dr. McField's writing is atrocious.  Has anyone beside myself read his "Manifesto" to the CJ?  At any rate, I am perplexed that Dr. M. remains a JP in spite of his criminal conviction.  Furthermore, could Dr. M. clarify the little incident where he was shot in the leg?  How come the RCIPS is not investigating that matter further? 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hang on he is a criminal – if not a common one – he has a conviction for a criminal offence in 2008 for disorderly conduct and assaulting a police officer by spitting at him. That means he is a criminal.   I call the behaviour of swearing and spitting at a police officer common – whether it makes him a "common criminal" is a matter of interpretation! The conviction and judgment deliveered by Magistrate Donalds at the time is matter of public record so I hope CNS feel able to publish this!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Poor Frank, he can't even get a job at UCCI anymore because he is questioning thier transparency and everybody knows that since UCCI is hosting speakers on corruption, UCCI couldn't possibly be corrupt itself . I mean gosh gee wilikers,the self proclaimed leaders there may not have much to say,fraternize with the students to begrduge thier faculty, drain the life out of thier faculty with infantile policies, and are slothful when it comes to modernizing UCCI, but that dosen't mean they are always promoting themsleves or diverting funds to hike thier salaries and pay off thier cronies for thier pet projects. Maybe Frank can get some free classes on leadership at UCCI, that will set him strait and stop all these investigations.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope you are not a graduate of UCCI. Your spelling is terrible.

      • Anonymous says:

        Typical diversion of someone who cant handle the message

        • Anonymous says:

          Which is? It was all a bit of ramble by someone who appears to have an axe to grind with the current leadership. And the spelling and syntax really are terrible. I just had a horrible thought – it might be faculty!  

      • Anonymous says:

        Your lack of attention to the plot is the real tradgedy, are you UCCI management? 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why is it that Dr Frank always seems to be in the midst of some controversay or other?

  10. Anonymous says:

    According to the letter, Mr. McField had a suddent fit of coughing and did not want to cough to appear to be signalling the defendant. Sounds transparent to me.  And to top it off, it seemed to spoke to other witnesses on the outside (those witnesses were called to explain what he said to them, his letter says).  Is he for real? Does he not watch tv?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am not a fan of Frank, but I loathe and despise most of the police. They are arrogant from the top down.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The same Frank McField that spat on a serving RCIP officer a few years ago and called into question his nationality in a highly derogatory manner, just because he had been held up in road block ….? Just asking and if I am wrong then forgive me but I am sure this may well be a matter of public record.

    • Diogenes says:

      I think he called the police officer (white, male, South African) a racist rather than questioning his nationality.  Mind you, I seem to recall he had another incident with another police officer (back, female, Caymanian) and he called her a racist too (because she came from the Brac!) so he is at least even handed. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes you may be right there, I knew the policeman in the first incident personally but it was some time ago now and  I can't be sure of his exact words, suffice tosay it was very insulting…

        But as you note he is capable of spreading his insults ….Dr Frank McFair !

  13. Diogenes says:

    "should not have been treated by a Magistrate of this jurisdiction as if I was a common criminal",

    I thought Dr McField had a criminal record? 

    • SSM345 says:

      He seems to be confused about having a criminal record, it makes you a common criminal, which in turn also makes it very hard to get a job as you have to have a clean police record for most employment opportunities in Cayman. Crime does not pay Dr. Frank.

      He gets arrested constantly which he will put down as police harassment.

      And finally he also has failed to let us, joe public, know why he was shot last year (or whenever, can't remember the exact date off the top of head). Absolute silence on the matter.

      Perhaps he should focus his efforts on activities that do not involve the police, now there's a thought.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe the point he was making was that he was an uncommon criminal. What is wrong with you'll, don't you'll know the difference between a 'common criminal' and an 'uncommon criminal'. It's the same as the difference between night and day.

  14. noname says:

    Next time show some respect for other people and turn the damn music down! It was after midnight for crying out loud.

  15. Anonymous 1 says:

    Looks like they were doing their job and "one hole"McField got pissed.  Doesn't take and FOI request to see the problem.

  16. Anny omis says:

    Did anyone make a ‘contribution’ for drinks at this ‘private party’? Perhaps into a ‘sacred’ pocket?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I've commented before about the ludicrous people chosen as JPs. Frank McField is a JP and as such believes he should receive due respect. He has it wrong, he is entitled to civility and respect that is due any member of society. The JP badge is more likely to get hoots of derision, rolling eyes and shaking heads. 

    • SSM345 says:

      Is it legal to have a JP designation when you have a criminal record?

      I would have thought you lose that designation having been convicted and found guilty of a criminal offence?

  18. Two Words says:

    Fruit Loops

  19. Anonymous says:

    If the police officers had a reasonable suspicion that the could arrest these people it would not be unlawful, even if their factual or legal assumptions tunred out to be wrong.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Explain the shooting first, Frank!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Frank PLEASE sit down somewhere with your FOOLISHNESS!

    How about you tell us how you shot yourself? Thats what we really wanna know!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone substantiate or refute McField's assertions about the alleged manner in which Magistrate Gunn dealt with him?