CoP report to go to DPP

| 28/03/2014

(CNS): The director of public prosecutions will be the person who makes the final decision on the police commissioner’s use of force during an arrest on New Year’s Day. Although it is still unclear which officer within the ranks of the RCIPS conducted the internal investigation into their boss, the governor’s office confirmed this week that the report is near completion. Once finalised the report will go to Cheryl Richards, QC, who will decide if David Baines was right to use his vehicle to run over a suspected robber fleeing on foot or if he went too far and should be charged. Officials from Governor Helen Kilpatrick’s office also confirmed they now have the report surrounding the circumstance leading up to the death of PC Raphael Williams.

Williams (45) took his own life two days after he was released on police bail, having been arrested on allegations of blackmail and breach of trust and suspended from duty. His body was found hanging from a tree in the East End bush and officers from the Bermuda Police Service were invited here to investigate the circumstances leading up to his death and his questioning by the Anti-corruption Unit. Although few details were released regarding the allegations made against Williams, it is understood that he was not trying to extort cash.

The governor’s office stated that while the governor is reviewing that report, it will not be made public for some time as the officer’s suicide will be the subject of a coroner’s hearing and no date has yet been set for what will be a public enquiry.

The report on the commissioner’s apprehension of the three jewel robber suspects on New Year’s Day has taken several weeks and its author remains a mystery.

Despite documentation seen by CNS that indicated that Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis was undertaking the investigation, the senior officer denied having anything at all to do with the internal enquiry. It is understood that his involvement went no further than him being the gold command officer at the time Baines ran over a suspect during the high profile arrest of three men he saw fleeing from Diamonds International on New Year’s Day in downtown George Town.

Although Detective Inspector Joseph Wright is in charge of the robbery investigation, CNS understands that he did not conduct the probe into the commissioner’s use of force.

The arrest by the commissioner won him wide commendations from the public, which in the face of rising crime was buoyed by seeing a senior police officer getting his hands dirty on the frontline of the crime fight. In a major coincidence, the incident occurred on the day after the revelation that Baines had received an OBE in the Queen's honours list for his services to policing in the Cayman Islands, despite being here for less than five years and leading the RCIPS at a time when crime was considered to have reached unprecedented levels.

However, one of the men was struck down by the commissioners car and run over. Jonathan Ramoon was pinned under the vehicle and sustained a number of arm and leg injuries. It took some two hours for the police to free him and he remained in a wheel chair during his most recent court appearance.

So far, none of the suspected three robbers have formally answered the charges but they are all facing a minimum of ten years jail time if convicted.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Considering the DPP's track record in court recently I'm not sure whether to welcome this news or express concern about it. The bottom line is will the CoP now get what can be regarded as fair or equal treatment and looking back at some of the nonsense the DPP has allowed RCIPS to put forward as 'evidence' recently I'm not sure he will.