Archive for November 4th, 2014

Driver hospitalized following roundabout smash

| 04/11/2014 | 18 Comments

(CNS): Two SUVs were involved in a major collision near to Kings Gym Tuesday afternoon. One of the cars involved overturned and the female driver was hospitalized, police said. Uniform officers from the George Town Police Station who are now investigating the smash said it happened at around 2:15pm at the roundabout on Crewe Road. They believe that one of the vehicles was struck in the rear end by the other while exiting the roundabout, causing it to overturn. The woman driving the SUV that was hit and flipped was taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash but police said they were not life threatening.

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Appeal court to consider catalogue of cases

| 04/11/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal winter session began in the Grand Court this week and the three-judge panel will consider a catalogue of both civil and criminal cases over the next three weeks. From the West Bay Road case to the WestStar robbery, the judges will be hearing appeals against decisions made in the Cayman Islands Grand Court until 21 November. As well as hearing the appeals, the judges have set cases for next spring and are also expected to deliver judgments, including the long-awaited decision in the crown’s appeal against the acquittal of Devon Anglin for the murder of4-year-old Jeremiah Barnes.

Following a day of case management on Monday, the judges heard their first case Tuesday morning, when Shane Bodden appealed his conviction and sentence. Bodden was jailed for four years for possession of an imitation firearm and shooting at a West Bay man following an argument over a hat. The appeal court panel said a decision on the case would be delivered later in the session.

In the afternoon the judges began hearing two separate appeals simultaneously from two convicted sex offenders, as the judges had noted similarities in the cases. Both men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had pleaded guilty to defilement but were appealing what they said were excessive sentences. That case continues Thursday.

Wednesday’s session is expected to start at 10am with the appeal by four ladies over the West Bay Road closure. They will be arguing that the judge in their case, Justice Alex Henderson, was wrong to rule their suit was out of time. The women are seeking a new trial in their battle to prevent the continued closure of more of the West Bay Road and to overturn the government’s decision to close a stretch of the West Bay Road and give it to Dart as part of a development deal. 

The appeal court president, Sir John Chadwick, is joined this session by Elliott Mottley and Sir Bernard Rix.

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Child killing witnesses sought

| 04/11/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS):The police are appealing to shift workers, people exercising or other early risers who may have been out and about in the areas of Hirst Road, Shamrock Road, High Rock Road or Queens Highway in the small hours of Monday morning, 27 October, to help in the ongoing investigation into the murder of 6-year-old Bethany Butler. Police are hoping someone may have seen a light coloured Hyundai Tucson SUV sometime between 3am and 4am in Savannah or East End.

They are asking anyone who may have seen the vehicle which Bethany’s mother is understood to have used when she drove to East End and in which the police discovered Bethany’s body.

“Although very early in the morning, it is not uncommon for shift workers or other peoples to be out exercising on the road at this time,” an RCIPS spokesperson said as they urged people to come forward and help police with this line of enquiry “This would assist the investigation piece together the last movements of this vehicle suspected of being driven by Tamara Butler.”

Tamara Olita Butler, Bethany’s mother, was arrested on suspicion of the murder shortly after the child was found dead in the car parked on a side road off the Queens Highway in the Barefoot Beach area. Bethany died as a result of multiple stab wounds but police have not yet interviewed her mother, who remains under police guard at the Cayman Islands Hospital.

It is understood that Butler had also tried to take her own life after allegedly killing her daughter. She remains under observation by mental health staff as police wait to interview the suspect. 

In the meantime, the police are asking anyone who may have some information to contact the Major Incident Room at the George Town Police Station  on 926 3975, any district police station, or Crime Stoppers on 949 8477 (TIPS).

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Locked out woman falls from 2nd floor balcony

| 04/11/2014 | 15 Comments

(CNS): A woman is in hospital this morning recovering from injuries sustained when she fell fifteen feet from her balcony as she tried to get into her own home having been locked out. Police said that the incident happened in South Sound around 8am on Tuesday morning. The woman was climbing across from a neighbour’s second storey balcony to her own condo when she fell. A spokesperson for the RCIPS said no foul play is suspected and the woman who was taken to George Town hospital had accidentally locked herself from her own unit. 

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Machete attack in BT

| 04/11/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A Bodden Town man has been rushed to hospital with serious chop wounds from a machete and police have arrested a second man for attempted murder. An RCIPS spokesperson said police and emergency services were called to an address in Kipling Street in the district following an altercation between two men at around 8:30am Tuesday. Police have not given any details of the incident but other sources have indicated it may be gang related. The injured male was taken to the George Town hospital  with serious injuries and the suspected assailant remains in police custody for attempt murder.

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Pink ladies kick-off Christmas with bazaar

| 04/11/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Pink Ladies Annual Christmas Tea and Bazaar is scheduled for Saturday 29 November 2-5pm at ARC Camana Bay. The annual fundraiser is the main event for the charity which operates a Coffee Shop at George Town Hospital.  The funds raised by the Pink Ladies are also donated back into the Community, via the NCVO and the Pines Retirement Home in addition to other community projects and charities. This year’s afternoon bash will feature the craft stall, the Country Kitchen, the White Elephant, home grown plants, a book sale, Christmas ornaments and holiday entertainment as well as afternoon tea.

Tickets are currently on sale from individual Pink Ladies or at the Pink Ladies Coffee Shop at George Town Hospital and the $5 entry fee includes tea featuring a vast array of homemade sandwiches, cakes, tea-breads and cookies served with tea or fruit punch.

The craft group ladies work throughout the year and their stall will be “heaving with a wide range of beautiful handmade crafts including Christmas gifts and decorations, quilts and linens, bags, dolls and decorated shells, boxes and other items” while the Country Kitchen will be selling a variety of home produced jams and preserves, cakes and cookies all prepared by the industrious Pink Ladies.

The White Elephant offers bargains and interesting items with a raffle and silent auction for prizes donated by generous local businesses.

Gardeners can stock up on locally grown plants and with the Garden Club’s stall and this year the Humane Society will also be holding a book sale and Cayman HospiceCare will be selling some Christmas 2015 calendars to support their causes.

There will be a variety of traditional holiday entertainment on stage during the afternoon provided by Cayman National Choir and others. Children will be well entertained with face and nail painting and Christmas crafts and activities and will have the opportunity to visit Santa’s Grotto to put in in their Christmas wish and help families in need through Cayman’s ARK “Giving is Receiving” programme.

More information about the Bazaar is available from Jane Moon, Secretary by email or phone 916 1504.

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Constitution review extensive

| 04/11/2014 | 33 Comments

(CNS): Although the premier recently gave the impression that the review of the constitution and the subsequent recommended changes are relatively minor and administrative, a detailed table of the 34 suggestions reveal that some of them are in fact substantive. It is understood that the opposition leader believes that there is a need for a referendum on some of these proposals which the review team have recommended and it is clear that some are much more than administrative. Issues such as how a person qualifies to vote or become a member of the Legislative Assembly to the question of free education for all children and the age of judges are some of the subjects proposed for change.

The review was completed last month and the chair of the review team and constitutional commission David Ritch wrote to the governor, the premier, the opposition leader and the joint team leader of the overseas territory directorate in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, regarding its findings. Both that letter and the table of recommended changes have now been published on the Constitution Commission’s website.

The review did not engage in a public consultation regarding the potential constitutional clean-up but Ritch said the Commission has included comments received from various other parties. It has identified 34 elements that the chair said were “sufficiently important to warrant being considered for amendment.” 

The commission also believes that changes can be made without the need for a referendum but it was ultimately for premier and leader of the opposition to decide whether they can agree to the amendments without going to the polls but it appears that they go beyond the concept of administrative changes.

In a letter to the then premier, McKeeva Bush in 2009 the FCO minister at the time responsible for the overseas territories, Chris Bryant, confirmed that any changes to the constitution had to be made after a referendum unless the changes were agreed as minor or uncontroversial by both the premier and the opposition leader.

The Commission has recommended that the leaders form a committee to consider the potential changes and how to make them. However, it is understood that the opposition leader has already indicated that he doesn’t believe the proposed changes are all minor and that a referendum will be required. As a result of the difficult in phrasing the questions regarding the potential changes and the cost of a referendum government will be hoping to avoid the need for a vote.

If Premier Alden McLaughlin and Bush cannot agree on what can be changed then the proposals will need to be put to the national vote or the changes won’t be made. Although extensive and in some case significant the changes are not necessarily controversial and have arisen after the document has been in use for some five years and the inadequacies or ambiguities have come to the fore.

However, without agreement of the country’s leading political figures the necessary amendments won’t happen without a vote.

See details of the recommendations below


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LA waits on governor to form boundary commission

| 04/11/2014 | 8 Comments

(CNS): Work on the country’s move towards one man, one vote in single member constituencies is expected to begin shortly as the governor is considering a minute from the Legislative Assembly to create a boundary commission. A three man panel consisting of a chair appointed by the governor and a member selected by the opposition and one by government will undertake an assessment of the local political landscape. Given the remit to examine the proposed boundaries for single member constituencies after a government motion debated and passed in September the commission will follow on from the work of the 2010 team and prepare Cayman for the new voting system in time for the 2017 national poll.

It is not bound by a specific number of seats though government has not instructed the commission to increase the membership of the LA. The main goal of the commission is to ensure that the constituencies are similar sizes and that they adhere to historical district boundaries. Although North Side, East End and the two constitutionally mandated constituencies of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will fall well short of the approximate 1000 or so voters in the other fourteen constituencies’ they are expected to remain as they are.

The other fourteen seats in Bodden Town, George Town and West Bay are expected to broadly follow boundaries of the polling station areas that have been used during the last two elections.
Any significant changes to the current layout of polling stations as the guide to the new landscape are likely to occur on the borders between what was once the George Town constituency boundary and Bodden Town, which remains Cayman’s fastest growing district. 

According to the elections office website the latest official figure on 20 October reveals 18,323 registered voters with Bodden Town now having passed West Bay by around 350 people. However George Town still dominatesthe voter’s register with 7389 people registered to vote in the capital.

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