Cops point finger at fire-fighters over SoC image leak

| 14/02/2014

(CNS): Graphic images taken at the crime scene of a suspected murder-suicide last weekend which found their way on to local social media circle may have been leaked by fire service staff, police claim. A spokesperson for the RCIPS said Friday that three serving fire officers are now the subject of a report, which has been sent to the acting chief fire officer and the chief officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs. The spokesperson stated that the RCIPS has outlined the circumstances of the taking and distribution of the crime scene images in a report to the chief officers but the enquiry into the circulation of the images continues.

The police are liaising with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, which will ultimately decide what, if any, offences, have been committed in relation to the distribution of the images, which were taken at the scene of the murder of Nichelle Anna-Kay Thomas in what was believed to be her home and at the site nearby where the man believed to be her killer, Devon Roy Campbell, hanged himself. The police are not looking for any other suspects regarding Thomas’ death as they believe she died at the hands of Campbell in a tragic domestic dispute.

If anyone has any information which could assist this enquiry, they should contact DI Dennis Walkington on 325-8161.

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Category: Crime

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I don't think bad taste and lack of professionalism are criminal offences.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I too really hope that they have their facts right. Understand that they wanted to search the phones of school children who they heard had this image on their phones. Can you imagine searching children in their class rooms? What is this when the phones are most likely to be on their parents account. What alot of law suits that would have been if they had been permitted to do so.  Police and Firemen ought to work together for the betterment of the Country. There needs to be no division with their jobs and sure thing the Firemen should have more feelings towards their Country as they are comprised of mostly Caymanians and thats the way we would like for it to remain.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes, moral principles were “stepped-underfoot”, and maybe the “Code of Conduct”, if any, expressed by the Fire Service Dept. But was the law actually broken? If not, Law Makers should look at revising the Penal Code to ensure that it is a crime to do such nonsense, because common sense isn’t so common anymore.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have been to a funeral where people were taking photographs of the deceased in his coffin on their cell phones – sick!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    As an ex RCIP officer I really can't say this surprises  me.

    it seems to be a national pastime in Cayman for people to have an unhealthy interest in some poor persons demise. I recall numerous traffic accidents where people would drive past slowly, filming the carnage with a camera or their phone. After any fatal traffic accident or murder there would always be chaos at the hospital, as people would turn up wanting a look at the victim, we would often have to provide security to the hospital. My wife was a nurse at the GT hospital and the nurses would constantly have to turn people away from the ward, these people had no connection with the victim but just wanted to 'gawk' like it was some kind of freak show.

    As for the fire service it doesn't surprise me, I had observed some of their officers behaving like many of the criminals we locked up, I got the impression the standard of officer was so low because your eligibility to get a job seemed to consist of being Caymanian and being related / good friends with someone in the heirachy.

    • Anonymous says:

      It seems as if you certainly have some bad blood towards the Firemen and Caymanians. Or is it because the Fire fighters during your time was the most respectful and better run Department. Perhaps that was because a Caymanian was Chief and had a 100% Caymanian Staff. Too sad they could not mentain that good image. At least they seem to still get their jobs done. Please check the internet for happenings in the USA , dont know who takes those pictures. Its all called news and especially how we are not accustomed to those gross happenings.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just because a man tells it how it isyou accuse him off being biased against  Caymanians…???

        that is seriously immature, face facts about the writer' s comments and take out your sense of entitlement.

  6. Anonymous says:

    As a former fire fighter in New York, I had to endure the graphic scenes of 9/11 and the destruction and death that surrounded me and my brothers and sisters of the FDNY.  On that day I lost very close people that were career firefighters.  Our fathers before us and their fathers before them.  It is a service that is handled with dignity and dedication to saving lives.  

    Never in my years as a fire fighter did I ever know of anyone taking a photo with their phone of a victim.  Never in my years would we disrespect the dead.  As a firefighter you take personally every life that is lost while you carry out your duty.  You wonder if you could have arrived a minute sooner or what if you had made a different decision. The images you take with you are never meant to be remembered. They haunt you already in your dreams.  I can only assume the 3 firefighters in question have never experienced or seen what I have seen or REAL fire fighters have seen… if they had they would not had taken those photos.  Who took those photos were men who collect a cheque and have no dedication to the uniform.

    To the family of the deceased you have my condolences.  2 lives were lost and even though one may not pity the murderer, his leaving makes the question WHY even more unanswerable.  To these boys in uniform, I do hope you are dismissed from the service that you have now tarnished.  You should be ashamed of yourselfves  As a 4th generation firefighter and now my son has taken over from me working at the same house as I did, I am sure you have good firefighters in the Cayman Islands… unfortunately these 3 are not them… however I am sure you have good ones… So please do not let these idiots ruin the image of the service…  

  7. Anonymous says:

    This has been a problem for years. Even before the digital age I saw pictures of gruesome morgue polaroids circulating. And as far as I am concerned they should do just as much investigating on matters such as RCIP habitual investigation leaks (gossip) that screw up cases too.These fire officers got caught with the traceable evidence of this crime scene leak. But there have been greater problems before on other cases through verbalmeans. It has been something that has made many a criminal walk free. Misconduct is and has been a serious issue. However lesson here is, it only takes one click of the send button to cause you to have a life changing moment.

    Be careful.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why was the Fire Department on the scene – and why did they have unfettered access to the crime scene?

    It’s amazing how the Police throw blame and no one asks the RCIP for answers.

  9. Shimar Harding says:

    As a Fire Officer employed by the Fire Service, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere condolences to the families of the man and woman involved in this past week’s tragedy. I (along with my colleagues) also want to express our deepest and most sincere apologies to the residents of these Islands and the families of the victims for the insensitive, thoughtless, and irresponsible action by the fire-officer/s following the incident.

    Why would anyone in a trusted position take and distribute such gruesome photographs? I cannot answer that. I am still pondering the question. What I can say is that since my tenure with the service and the training that I have received, the use of mobile devices at an incident/accident of such nature is not practiced. So I can confirm that this action is not one that represents the customary operations of the Fire Service. I do not say this in defence of the wrongdoing; I only want to clarify any misunderstanding that the general public might have. I do realize at this point that there are no grounds that I can stand on to defend such an inconsiderate and mindless act. I can most certainly assure you that such unethical behaviour will be minimized from this point on.

    To reiterate, on behalf of my colleagues and myself, we express our deepest and most sincere apologies to the residents of these Islands and the families of the victims. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    What is more important is that domestic violence in this country is not taken seriously.

  11. Guy Ebanks says:

    First and foremost my heart goes out to the families who have lost their loved ones and then had to suffer again the indignity of viewing these lasting and macabre images. 

    Am I missing something here?  If this sick action had been done by a cop then this message board would have been full of vitriolic comments about the RCIPS.

    I accept that everyone has the right to a fair trial and is presumed innocent until proven otherwise but why has nobody been suspended pending an investigation?  This is 'gross misconduct' with a cherry on the top! This is instant dismissal stuff… end of!  Can you imagine if this was your son, daughter, brother, sister in these images?

    The DPP will decide 'what, if any offences have been comitted'… Is this for real?  Please refer to ICTA 2010 or Misconduct in a Public Office?

    On behalf of these poor familes…..Shame on you all!

  12. Coconutz says:

    Sick, morbid people – unfortunately the guilty won't even understand the criticism, given that they're illiterate simpletons who somehow think that it's okay to distribute pictures of dead people.  Rest assured, the DPP will take care of it in the usual manner – in other words, they'll find a way to screw things up. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    And that answers the case for those who think that the CIFS is a professional service.

    Any fire service employee found to have taken unauthorised photographs at a crime scene, should be fired on the spot. Such disgusting actions illustrate the standard of employee that so many are so quick to support.

    Unprofessional idiots, pure and simple.

  14. Anonymous says:

    So our sainted Fire Officers may not be so pure after all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let us hope that the police are positive that they have the right people.  Many we're there before the CIFS arrived.  I hope they are on the right track.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Let us hope that the police is wright. This  investigation should have been done by outside investigater., i wold not say that my brother did it if no one else could prove tt .

    • Anonymous says:

      Every barrel has a few bad apples. Please do not assume that they are all rotten, far from it.


      The vast majority of the men and women in the service are dedicated, moral, and competant professionals.

      • Anonymous says:

        22:19 You got that right. Our Cayman Island fire Service used to have some of the smartest guys on the Island. I once heard Their old Fire Chief bragging that he had a man on board for everything. Like the time that he sent one of his men through a small cat window to open a house. The fire trucks was driven with care and pride with no women as passengers nor parked on the side of the road etc etc chatting with girls. Come on boys get back your respect.Some of these men are still some of the most respected and smart Caymanians around.