Defence Attorney Laurance Aiolfi successfully applied for his client to be discharged in a rape case after the Crown advised that there was no forensic analysis available.
Because rape is an offence that must be tried in the Grand Court, a preliminary inquiry was set for Monday, 20 December.
On that date, Crown Counsel Scott Wilson told Magistrate Nova Hall that it is presently taking five to six months for DNA testing to be done.
Such testing, he reminded the court, is not done on the Island, but at a laboratory in the US. Because of the backlog of work at that facility, Cayman authorities are looking for an alternative testing place, Mr. Wilson said.
Meanwhile, he was asking for the matter before the court to be adjourned.
The incident that gave rise to the charge occurred after Hurricane Ivan, when a curfew was in effect. The defendant spent some time in custody.
Mr. Aiolfi objected to having the rape PI adjourned. On the basis of papers that had been produced by the Crown, there was no evidence against his client, he told the court.
‘If there was not sufficient identification, then this matter should never have been charged against my client,’ the attorney argued.
‘Now they [the Crown] find themselves in the position of charging him but not having that evidence. It is improper to give the Crown time to mend an aspect of the case that should never have been brought,’ he said.
Mr. Aiolfi submitted that it was unfair to have the defendant returning to court. ‘It must be wrong to charge him and then see if there’s enough evidence,’ he concluded.
The magistrate agreed that, with no evidence called by the Crown, the defendant should be discharged.
However, she pointed out, the discharge is not a bar to any subsequent charge, should it be that investigations turn up further evidence.